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LI home set on fire by suspected arsonist

February 26, 2012 9:01:24 PM PST
A Long Island family's home is destroyed by flames and a complete stranger is under arrest for arson.

Police say he broke into the family's garage and set the house on fire.

The house is still standing but that's about all that's left of 17 Loines Avenue in Merrick after flames gutted this home and sent the residents fleeing for their lives.

It was 6 a.m. Sunday morning when a fire was started inside this garage which quickly spread to the house and the car in the driveway.

The couple inside escaped the biting blaze. We're told their dog was later rescued.

Police arrested George Diamond, 23, from Brentwood near the scene.

He was wearing only a t-shirt, shorts and socks.

Officials believe he broke into the garage with the intent to steal, then took a match to some papers.

It's not clear why arson, if he was allegedly trying to cover his tracks.

One report described him as homeless and cold.

But police report he was not homeless and he was not trying to stay warm.

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