• Deputies: Man being arrested set fire to house, now faces animal cruelty charges


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A man who was about to be arrested threatened suicide and then set fire to a house early Tuesday morning, Lake County sheriff's investigators said.

    According to investigators, when deputies tried to serve a felony warrant on Charles Smithey at a home on Third Street in Dona Vista, Smithey barricaded himself inside the house using furniture. Investigators said Smithey told deputies he wanted to kill himself.

    Deputies said they then saw smoke coming from the house and discovered that Smithey apparently set the home on fire.

    Deputies forced their way inside and were able to get Smithey out of the burning house.

    Deputies also found two dogs and pulled them from the house.

    Some deputies were treated at the scene for cuts and smoke inhalation and one deputy was treated at a local hospital and released, according to investigators.

    The fire marshal went to the scene and is handling the investigation.

    Smithey was taken into custody and booked into the Lake County Jail.

    He was arrested on several charges, including two counts of animal cruelty, officials said.

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