As firefighters battled a blaze at a home in Swampscott on Saturday, owner Timothy Brosnan watched the flames dance from across the street.
“Isn’t it the most beautiful thing ever?” 57-year-old Brosnan asked aloud according to police.
The Boston Globe reports that when emergency crews arrived to the burning building, Brosnan claimed he was the one who torched the house.
“Look at it go,” he said.
Brosnan was arraigned on an arson charge on Monday in Lynn District Court. Prosecutors told WBZ that Brosnan, a carpenter, lit the fire one day before the house he built was supposed to be given to his wife as part of a divorce settlement.
Brosnan told police he poured gasoline throughout the property, and had opened a gas valve in the house. The police report notes that Brosnan smelled of gas.
According to the Globe, police say Brosnan’s eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred. The house, which is worth more than $800,000, sustained at least $500,000 in damage, according to officials.
A friend of Brosnan’s told WBZ that Brosnan is a “very nice, kind man,” explaining setting a fire was out of character for him.
Brosnan is scheduled to return to court on Wednesday for a dangerousness hearing.
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