Dad says arsonist poured gas in vents of home: ‘He almost killed a family of 4’

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- A Dinwiddie County man said he was met with five-foot flames after he heard a loud noise and walked out onto his front porch late Saturday night. Ray Dean has rented a Dinwiddie County home with his family for just 27 days and Saturday night, it was set on fire.

"He almost killed a family of four here that didn't deserve it," said Ray Dean.

The man responsible is 25-year-old David Starke Jr., according to investigators.

"He had tried to dump the gasoline in the vents to the house to try to set the underneath on fire," said Dean.

Dean and a passersby who stopped to help managed to get the fire extinguished.

Ray Dean

For the Dean family, the incident was terrifying.

"It scared us, I mean my daughter wouldn't even go back in her room for the first night," said Dean. "This is an uncalled for situation, it should have never happened."

Dinwiddie County Sheriff's investigators said Starke tried to burn the Touchstone Bank on Route 460 after investigators talked with him about trying to pass a stolen check at the bank.

Starke is the same man Prince George County Police arrested Sunday for two arsons in the county.

Prince George County Police received a call-for-service regarding possible acts of arson at approximately 2 a.m. When police arrived at the scene in the area of Touchstone Bank headquarters at 4300 Crossings Boulevard, officers observed several fires burning around the exterior of the business.

Police said Starke was also responsible for a fire inside a stairwell at Bailey Ridge Apartments, where Starke lives.

David Starke Jr.

Starke, of Prince George County, was arrested Sunday and charged with felony maliciously burn an occupied dwelling house and felony maliciously burn an unoccupied office building. He may also be facing more charges in Dinwiddie County.

Sources tell CBS 6 Starke is being investigated for arson fires in two other counties as well.

He is currently being held at Riverside Regional Jail.

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