Suffolk man says house was set on fire by stranger in the middle of the night

Posted at 9:13 PM, May 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-07 23:49:42-04

 Suffolk, Va.- James Stevenson was woken up at 1:30 Monday morning by a man knocking on his front door asking for money.

"I think why someone come at 1:30 in the morning asking if anyone left him money here and the guy he was looking for he didn't live here no how," Stevenson said.

Stevenson stayed up only to find an hour later, his house had been set on fire.

"Laying there, looking out your window and jump up all of a sudden you don't know what's going on outside the house," Stevenson said.

Stevenson had his wife and grandson leave their Boston neighborhood home, while he tried to douse the flames.

"I had three buckets, so I throw the first bucket down here at the house on the fire," Stevenson said.

Suffolk Fire investigators have listed it as arson. They found kerosene at the scene.

They're looking for the man who knocked on Stevenson's door.

The problem is, Stevenson doesn't have a peep hole so he didn't get a good look at him.

"At 1:30 in the morning, I don't open the door if someone knock and don't tell you who it is," Stevenson said.

Stevenson feels lucky he didn't go back to sleep after the man's knocking woke him up.

If not, he wouldn't have seen the flames as early as he did, and the damage would have been a lot worse.

"I thought about it last night and kept worrying," Stevenson said. "I didn't know what might happen. I kept telling my wife I was worrying about her and her grandson and make sure they were alright."

The burns to his house are fueling further worries of who could knock next at his McKinley Avenue home.