And no, the little girl was not in there by accident. He definitely took her into the house with a gas can before lighting the match.
Roberto Fernandez-Centena, 45, visited his former home on Daisy Court in Lawrenceville with his 6-year-old daughter Friday, Gwinnett Fire Cpt. Tommy Rutledge told Channel 2 Action News.
Witnesses said they saw Fernandez-Centena enter the uninhabited home with a gas can. After flames erupted, the child ran to a neighbor’s house.
“Fire investigators believe Roberto was intending to cause harm to the child as well as himself,” said Rutledge.
Rutledge said the girl told authorities that her father set the house on fire and was trying to kill himself. She was treated for smoke inhalation and was being cared for by relatives, Rutledge said.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire, but Fernandez-Centena had fled the home before they arrived at the scene, Rutledge said.
Fernandez-Centena was found just after 10 a.m. Sunday after a resident on nearby Flagg Way called police to say he was on the back porch.
Fernandez-Centena was taken to a local hospital for evaluation, Rutledge said. He said Fernandez-Centena told police that he had been hiding in the woods since the fire. Upon his release from the hospital, he will be arrested and formerly charged with first-degree arson, cruelty to children and aggravated assault, Rutledge said.
From the sounds of it, this little girl’s mom isn’t in the picture either. Depressed, threat to himself or not, her daddy ain’t sh*t.