Every interior surface, window, piece of furniture, and appliance in the residence was violently destroyed with a blunt tool before the attached garage was burned to the ground.
“The door to the refrigerator is broken off and thrown through a front window,” said Diane O’Grady, one of several neighbors who were on the scene to help police and fire responders. “There’s broken glass all over the driveway.”
According to a press release from Sheriff Thomas Dougherty, at 3:26 A.M. the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center received a report of flames towering above a residence in the Village of Mt. Morris.
Allegedly, officers saw a man running away from the burning house. The man, Brandon M. Rosa, age 22 of Perry, was apprehended while running towards an abandoned house further up Parker Road. Cut, bleeding and having trouble breathing, Rosa reportedly shouted “This is my house! My wife, kids and dogs are inside!” before collapsing and receiving CPR.
No one was in the home at the time of the fire, and neighbors quickly informed authorities that the owners of the house were away at the time. There were five dogs that were apparently set loose before the fire started, and later found by residents who searched for the animals through the night.
“Everybody came together,” said another local resident. “Half the night we spent looking for dogs, and we found them all.”
Rosa was treated and released from Strong Memorial Hospital with minor injuries and is expected to be arraigned today on the following charges: Arson in the third degree, Burglary in the second degree, Criminal Mischief 2nd and Reckless Endangerment 1st.
None of the neighbors on scene knew the suspect by sight, or had ever heard the name Rosa in the community before Friday.
Handling the investigation were Mount Morris Police Chief Ken Mignemi, Officer Jeremy Blair and Officer Melanie Moore. Sheriff Thomas Dougherty’s Office assisted, along with several members of the Livingston County Office of Emergency Management, and District Attorney Greg McCaffrey.