Man accused of arson in Phoenix apartment fire

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- A man is in custody for reportedly setting his Phoenix apartment on fire after his live-in girlfriend refused to loan him $5 for drugs.

Authorities say 31-year-old Victor Maldonado is being held on suspicion of criminal damage and arson of occupied structure.

It was unclear Thursday if Maldonado has an attorney yet.

Phoenix police say Maldonado pushed his girlfriend when she denied his request for drug money last Sunday and continued to fight with her outside their apartment.

The woman told police she went to neighbor's house for safety and later saw black smoke coming from her apartment.

She also reported receiving text messages from Maldonado in which he threatened to burn her things.

Authorities say the fire caused at least $15,000 damage to the apartment structure.