Man Admits Setting Girlfriend’s Home on Fire After Argument

EAST UNION TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A man from Schuylkill County admitted to police that he set his girlfriend's house on fire.

According to police, Dennis Antonelli Jr., 39, of Sheppton, told investigators that he started the fire on 3rd Street in Oneida near Sheppton Tuesday night after the two got into an argument.

"Seven, eight different fire departments here. The whole street was loaded with them, water trucks. I can't even explain how much smoke was coming out of the house. It was unbearable," said Christian Good of East Union Township.

According to state police, Antonelli admits setting his girlfriend's house on fire around 5:30 p.m. Investigators say Antonelli and the woman had an argument earlier in the day. Antonelli was told not to come back, but he did, forcing himself into the home through a window. When his girlfriend arrived, troopers say they argued again, and minutes later, Antonelli set the place on fire. Antonelli used to be a firefighter in the area.

"We're all in shock. We couldn't believe the house was set on fire. It's sad," Good added.

Newswatch 16 caught up with a woman who used to live in the house. She's sad to see it now in this condition.

"My mother made Sunday dinner every Sunday until she was about 80 years old. She used to serve about 20 of us every Sunday," said Rosemarie Devaney of East Union Township.

Eight people lived in the building. They're getting help from the American Red Cross.

Dennis Antonelli Jr. is locked up in Schuylkill County, charged with arson and related charges.

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