PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A man accused of setting his wife’s home on fire while the woman and her children were inside is now facing several charges.
Police say 34-year-old Dennis King was in a rocky relationship with his estranged wife, Heather O’Rourke.
“With the wife and four children in the home, to do something like that is just unspeakable,” said Pittsburgh Police Commander Scott Schubert.
O’Rourke has a protection from abuse order against King.
But on Wednesday, he turned up around dinnertime at the house on Norwich Street where O’Rourke lives in Brookline with four children, ages 4 to 14. King said he was there to cut the grass. She called 911.
An argument became an ugly confrontation, officials said.
Then, according to the criminal complaint, King – walking not the house – began dumping gasoline all over the place, including on the kids’ beds.
The criminal complaint reports he then put on oven mitts and started lighting newspapers on fire, trying to burn the house down.
“The officers got there very quick. They were just a couple blocks away,” said Commander Schubert.
Paper was still burning in the front yard, and firefighters were alerted.
“The smell of fumes throughout the house and the stove was lit,” Commander Schubert added.
King took off out a back door and into woods behind homes across the street. He was tracked and arrested by an officer and his K9.
“He gave up, said, ‘Don’t let the dog bite me,’” Commander Schubert said.
King is facing 10 counts of arson, multiple counts of simple assault, endangerment, criminal trespass and risking a catastrophe. He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail.