Crime

Man set Lancaster house on fire with ex-girlfriend inside, police say

A man is accused of setting fire to this home on Mangum Drive in Lancaster County.
A man is accused of setting fire to this home on Mangum Drive in Lancaster County.

A Chester County man is accused of setting fire to his ex-girlfriend’s Lancaster home while she and two other people were inside.

Vernon Dye, 36, of Richburg is charged with three counts of attempted murder, burglary, domestic violence, arson and weapons charges, according to Doug Barfield, a spokesman for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. He was placed in the Lancaster County Detention Center, where a judge denied bond.

Dye is accused of setting fire to his ex-girlfriend’s home on Mangum Drive on Easter Sunday, Barfield said. The two had recently ended their relationship when Dye reportedly went over and assaulted the woman.

A witness saw Dye strike his ex-girlfriend with a handgun. He then pointed the gun at another woman in the home and threatened to kill both of them and their families, authorities said. A male victim was also in the home during the incident.

Investigators say Dye splashed gasoline on the women and poured it around the inside of the home and set it on fire. The women escaped through a back window and the man also managed to get out safely.

By the time police and fire crews arrived the home was in flames.

No one was injured in the blaze, but the former girlfriend was treated for injuries sustained during the assault.

“We are very thankful the victims were able to get out of the home quickly,” Sheriff Barry Faile said in a prepared statement. “This terrifying incident could have ended much worse had Dye left any of the victims incapacitated inside that home.”

Teddy Kulmala: 803-329-4082, @teddy_kulmala

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