Angry ex-boyfriend arrested, charged with arson, Volusia County deputies say

Deputies: Man pours tiki torch oil on furniture, sets house on fire

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Volusia County deputies say an angry ex-boyfriend is accused of torching a house near DeLand on Saturday night.

Firefighters were called to a home on North Street in Deland around 6:11 p.m. Saturday for a report of a house fire.

When deputies got to the home a witness said 43-year-old Gregory Cunningham was believed to be the arsonist who started the fire, but he had already left on his bicycle.

Deputies said a resident of the house told them that Cunningham showed up looking for his ex-girlfriend, who also lives at the home.

The witness said she told Cunningham that his ex-girlfriend wasn't there and that she didn't want to talk to him anyway, deputies said.

Deputies said Cunningham became angry, barged into the home and ordered the resident to leave.

The witness saw Cunningham holding a lit torch while pouring tiki torch oil on some patio furniture before smoke started to pour from the home.

When Cunningham's ex-girlfriend showed up, she told deputies he had been continuously trying to contact her ever since they broke up about a week ago. She also said that Cunningham had threatened to burn down her house in the past, but she didn't think he was serious.

Deputies found Cunningham two hours later, and he had a syringe containing liquid methamphetamine in his pocket.

Cunningham was brought to a sheriff's investigator for questioning, where he denied setting the house on fire and at one point turned aggressive in the interview room, screaming at the investigator and throwing a water bottle against the wall, deputies said.

Authorities said Cunningham also fought with deputies who came into the room to gain control of him.

Cunningham was placed under arrest and taken to the Volusia County Jail.

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