NEW RVER, AZ -
A woman's estranged husband was arrested Saturday in connection with setting her house on fire in New River.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office responded to calls of a suspicious person leaving the home Saturday morning. When crews arrived, they found Gary Noel carrying several tools, including a crow bar they believe he used to break in and then set the house on fire.
No one was hurt and Noel's wife was not home during the incident. Crews managed to save one dog that was in the home, but one cat died in the fire. Investigators said the fire was confined to one bedroom in the home.
When Noel was asked if he intentionally set the fire, he was quick to defend himself.
"Well if my wife didn't cheat on me it never would have happened but she cheated on me with another woman," said Noel.
Noel and his wife are in the process of going through a divorce. ABC15 tried reaching out to Noel's wife for a comment but did not get a response.
Noel has long history of run-ins with the law. He was arrested numerous times for a variety of charges including domestic violence and attempted aggravated harassment. Noel had a protection order that was set to keep him away from his wife which he violated it multiple times.
Noel is being held at the 4th Avenue Jail in Phoenix where charges including arson are pending.