A Florida man is under arrest for trying to set his girlfriend’s house on fire Saturday.
Jose Bernando Rosa Madrigal, 19, of Auburndale, is accused of starting the fire on Saturday while his girlfriend and her parents were still inside the house, Fox News reports.
Police found flammable fluid sprayed on the girlfriend’s bedroom in the shape of a heart. Madrigal also allegedly sprayed the liquid on the front of the home and on the family’s vehicles and canoe.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the 19-year-old plotted the scheme out beforehand and knew what he planned to do.
“He planned this in advance. He Googled how to burn the house, he mixed the combination and poof, he set it on fire — And poof, we put him in jail. It’s by the grace of God that we don’t have three people burned up in a house fire.”
The girlfriend told police that Madrigal sent her messages on Snapchat threatening to burn her house down before the incident.
Madrigal initially claimed that he was at his mother’s house at the time of the fire, but surveillance footage caught him on camera driving past the home several times. When confronted with this, he admitted to driving past the house and claimed he saw a “random black guy” setting fire to the home before running away.
The 19-year-old now faces a slew of charges including three counts of attempted first-degree homicide, one count of first-degree arson and possession of liquor by a person under 21. Police found half a bottle of vodka in his car after searching it.
The girlfriend’s father said they caught the fire before it blew up the car. He believes they all would have been dead if they hadn’t caught it as soon as they did.
“I thank God because God was on our side. If it would have gone 5 or 10 minutes more, the car would have blew up. My house would have been on fire. He could have killed us.”
[Feature Photo: Polk County Sheriff’s Office]