$1M bond for man accused of setting house on fire with child inside

James Pruitt Jr will remain inside the walls of the Gaston County Jail for the foreseeable future. Wednesday afternoon, a judge gave him a $1 million bond.

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. -- A Gaston County man is expected to remain in jail after being arrested for setting fire to a neighbor's home while it was occupied by a couple and their three-year-old son.

A judge set James Pruitt, Jr.'s bond at $1 million during a Tuesday afternoon court hearing. He's charged with multiple counts of first-degree arson, attempted first-degree murder and cruelty to animals.

Investigators said Pruitt originally got into a dispute with a neighbor early-Tuesday morning before he threatened to set fire to their mobile home; prosecutors said he followed through on his threat.

Police said the couple and their son were asleep before being awoken to their front door in flames.

They escaped unharmed before the mother called 911.

"Yes, my whole (expletive) front of my house is on fire!" the mother can be heard screaming in the call.

A distinct popping noise could be heard in the background.

"What is that?" the dispatcher asked in response to the pops.

"My living room is on fire now," the caller responded. "Please hurry!"

A neighbor told NBC Charlotte the popping noises were bullets stored away inside the home going off.

The mobile home was destroyed; a neighboring home sustained damage to its aluminum siding.

During his first appearance, a judge offered Pruitt an opportunity to respond to the allegations, to which he said, "It's not true."

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Detective Brienza with Gastonia Police at 704-866-3320.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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