Police: Hatchet-wielding man breaks into home, torches his own house

PUTNEY, Vt. (WCAX) Police say a Putney man used a hatchet to break into a neighbor's house and then set his own home on fire.

Alex James

Police were called to a home on Mill Street in Putney for a report of a family disturbance. When they got there, they found Alex James in a state of "excited delirium" outside his property which was on fire.

After an investigation, police determined James broke into another home on Mill Street using a hatchet.

Police say he then left and returned to his own home where witnesses say they saw him setting fire to furniture which led to a structure fire.

The Putney Fire Department extinguished the fire.

A pet lizard was found dead inside the home as a result of the fire.

James was arrested and issued a citation for first-degree arson, aggravated domestic assault, cruelty to an animal, burglary and unlawful mischief, among other charges. He's due in court Wednesday.