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Man sets abandoned house on fire with person asleep inside

Don Leach, 56, charged with murder, arson

A fatal fire is investigated in Titusville.
A fatal fire is investigated in Titusville.

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Police said they arrested a man responsible for setting fire to an abandoned home, leaving one person dead.

The victim's body was found early Tuesday morning after the fire was extinguished by crews in Titusville, authorities said.

The Titusville Fire Department responded to the house fire at 3:20 a.m. on Park Avenue near Garden Street. Officials said the house was just behind a Sunoco gas station and was known to be abandoned for several years.

Police said Don Lyle Leach, 56, of Titusville, and the victim, both homeless, knew each other and were involved in a dispute prior to the fire.

The investigation found that Leach was angry at the victim and intentionally set the fire while the victim slept inside the house, according to police.

Crews said half the house was ablaze when they arrived, and the home's windows and doors were boarded up, which would have made it difficult for the victim to have escaped.

Leach was booked into the Brevard County Jail. He is charged with first-degree murder and arson.