Kent Perusse, a 48-year-old Tampa man was jailed Tuesday after he allegedly burned down his house to prevent his wife from moving in with him.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Perusse reportedly doused a home he was renting with gasoline before setting it on fire. He then stood outside the home and watched it burn.
When officers arrived on the scene, Perusse stated that he set the house on fire because he didn’t want his wife, mother or daughter to move in.
The house was totally destroyed, with approximately $72,804 in damages.
Investigators say Perusse, a self-employed lawn service owner, told police that his dog, a female pit bull, was still inside the burning home. The animal burned to death inside a storage room.
Perusse was taken to Tampa General Hospital for smoke inhalation and third-degree burns to his calves. He was released two weeks later and then taken into custody.
Perusse was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail and charged with first-degree arson and animal cruelty. He is being held in lieu of $55,000 bail.