PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pasco County man was arrested after police said he intentionally set his house on fire while several animals were inside.
According to reports, Fernando Ramos, 27, of New Port Richey lit rolls of paper towels on fire on Thursday and “strategically” placed them on a couch in the living room and dining room table to accelerate the fire.
But Ramos wasn’t the only one inside the Skyview Avenue home at the time of the fire. A New Port Richey police officer stated that six cats and dogs were inside the residence when he began to set the house ablaze.
Witnesses said that Ramos left the residence about 15 to 20 minutes before the house became fully engulfed, leaving all six pets inside.
As firefighters worked to put out the flames, three cats and one dog were found dead inside the home. At this time, there is no word on the other two pets that were inside the home.
According to police, Ramos admitted to lighting the paper towels and placing them around the home with the intent to “burn the house down.” Ramos also told police that he was aware the six pets were living inside the home when the fire began.
Ramos, who was on active felony probation for battery against a first responder in 2020 has been charged with arson, four counts of animal cruelty, and violation of probation.
According to the affidavit, the loss of the house located at 7342 Skyview Ave. totaled around $304,000.