A Fort Myers man rebuffed after he knocked on a female friend’s door, yelled “have a good night,” poured gas on the home and set it ablaze, deputies say.
Erich James Kugelman, 38, of Fort Myers, remains in Lee County Jail on $50,000 bond. He is charged with first-degree arson and will be arraigned June 7.
A Lee County Sheriff’s Office report said Kugelman threatened to light a woman’s home on fire and then followed through with it — the woman seeing him leaving her yard with a red gas can in his hand.
The Sunday night incident began, the Sheriff’s Office report said, with Kugelman knocking on the woman’s door and being told to leave. He then went to the back of the house and knocked on a window, again being told to leave.
The woman said Kugelman yelled “have a good night” by a back window and left. She said she then smelled gasoline and smoke and when she went outside she saw Kugelman leaving her fenced yard and a fire burning at the rear of her home.
The woman and a friend extinguished a fire at the base of her bedroom window.
When deputies went to Kugelman’s home in the Iona-McGregor area they found a small, red gas can in his front yard and he smelled heavily of gas, a report said.
Deputies said Kugelman had a lighter in his pocket.
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