BERKS COUNTY, Pa. – A 57-year-old Berks County man who relied on a wheelchair set his home on fire early Monday morning before killing his dog and then himself, Pennsylvania State Police reported.
About 4:30 a.m. first responders found fire blazing through nearly two-thirds of the home with flames surging out of the windows and roof at 72 Westview Terrace in an age-restricted community in Womelsdorf, a borough about 50 miles southwest of Allentown, police said, reported LehighValleyLive.
Homeowner Erik Johnson and the dog were found dead inside the home, police said. Moreover, law enforcement said Johnson died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to police, the combination of events was planned. While investigators haven’t discovered the ignition point of the fire, “the investigation has yielded information that indicates the intent of the victim was to initiate a fire and subsequently commit suicide,” police from the Reading barracks said in a news release, according to LehighValleyLive.
The fire caused about $100,000 in damage to the home, police said. The fire was contained and nearby buildings did not catch fire, police said.