Arrest warrant issued in Battle Creek arson investigation

Posted at 11:43 PM, Aug 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-29 23:58:21-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich -  A family's home caught fire Friday morning in Battle Creek, and investigators say it doesn't appear to be an accident.

The Battle Creek Police Department issued a press release late Friday evening say an arrest warrant has been issued for a 22-year-old suspect on Home Invasion and Attempted Arson charges.  As of Friday evening, no arrest had been announced.

We spoke to one of the homeowners on Friday, who says his daughter received a text from her 22-year-old ex-boyfriend on Thursday threatening he planned to burn down their house.

She had no idea he might actually do it until the family's home caught fire around 10: 30 Friday morning.

"I got a call saying the house was burning down, so when I got there I didn't know what to expect," said Ronald Hoyt, the homeowner and father.

Ronald Hoyt arrived home to flames pouring out of his home.  Walls that once held pictures of family, friends, and art passed down from their ancestors were now just black walls reeking of smoke.

The family says this wasn't a random act.

"I am shocked because I know this young man," said Hoyt.  "The young man called me at 9:00 a.m. looking for my daughter," said Hoyt.

Hoyt says a neighborhood watch leader called authorities around 10:30 a.m., shortly after the fire started.

"Our neighborhood watch leader knows what time we go to work and watches everything on the street. He contacted my sister and said something is wrong," said Hoyt.

Hoyt says he's just disappointed someone would even do something like this.

"I didn't expect him to do something like this but I know that he potentially could do something like that," said Hoyt.

The fire department says the incident is still under investigation.

All in all, Ronald said everything that is turned to ash are just physical possessions, and the suspected arsonist didn't win this time.

"I was grateful because my grand-kids weren't here my daughter wasn't here," said Hoyt.  "We aren't planning a funeral, I'm grateful."

As of Friday evening, power is still out at Hoyt's home.  The entire kitchen and backside of the home is in need of repairs.  Furniture and other items also suffered extensive damage from the smoke.