Man accused of lighting house on fire with family inside

- A man wanted on charges of attempted murder, animal cruelty and arson has been arrested, according to Gaston County Police. 

The suspect, James Richard Pruitt Jr., is accused of setting fire to a mobile home located in the 100 block of Brian Circle in Gastonia the morning of July 11.

The two adults and three-year-old child inside the residence were all able to escape the fire, but a dog and a rabbit died in the flames, according to police. The home was completely destroyed.

Warrants have been issued charging Pruitt with three counts of attempted murder, two counts of animal cruelty and one count of first degree arson.

The Gaston County Police and the Gaston County Fire Marshal’s Office are still investigating.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Brienza at (704) 866-3320 or Gaston County Crimestoppers at (704) 861-8000.

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