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Man 'despondent' over recent divorce sets Santa Ana home on fire, police say

A 35-year-old man upset over a recent divorce set a Santa Ana home on fire Thursday night, authorities said.

Police responded to the home in the 1000 block of West Washington Avenue around 7 p.m. on a family-disturbance call, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department. Police had been to the home numerous times previously, he said.

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When officers arrived, they found the suspect, who was "despondent over a recent divorce," Bertagna said. He added that the man was breaking things inside his family home and when officers tried to speak with him he retreated to the back of the house.

At that point, Bertagna said, the suspect allegedly set the house on fire, ran out of the home and was then taken into custody by police.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire at the two-story Craftsman-style home was so intense that they could not make entry into the residence, authorities said. Eight people were displaced from the home, according to Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority.

The suspect is facing two counts of intentional arson, Kurtz said. One count deals with the suspect's home itself; the other deals with a house next door that was damaged.

Twitter: @Brittny_Mejia

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