EMERALD ISLE, CARTERET COUNTY - Police said a Camp Lejeune Marine intentionally set fire to a home after locking a dog in a bathroom. The dog did not survive the incident.
The incident happened at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday on the 8700 block of Plantation Drive in Emerald Isle. The residence is owned by John Ramos. The fire was called in by a neighbor who saw smoke coming out of the home.
Police said during the investigation into the cause of the fire, it was determined that the fire had intentionally been set by pouring an accelerant throughout the residence. Investigators on scene were then approached by a man who admitted he set the home on fire, according to a news release. That man was later identified as Cpl. Jamison K. Hardy, 22.
According to police, Hardy admitted that he entered the residence through a side garage door where he got a container filled with gasoline. He then went inside the house, locked the dog in the bathroom and proceeded to douse the residence with the gasoline. Hardy then ignited the gasoline and fled on foot. According to Hardy's admission, he lost his keys sometime during this incident and was unable to leave the scene after starting the fire.
A family member told NewsChannel 12 that Hardy and his wife are separated, and Ramos voiced that they should not get back together.
That sentiment might have gotten back to Hardy, the family member said.
Police are estimating about $200,000 in damage to the residence. Police said that mental health issues and family problems may be a factor behind the fire being set.
Hardy has been charged with 2nd degree arson and felony breaking and entering and felony cruelty to animals.
Hardy is a Marine stationed with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines at Camp Lejeune MCB.
Hardy joined the Marine Corps in 2009, according to a Marine Corps spokesperson.
Hardy's last deployment was to Afghanistan from July 2011 to February 2012, the spokesperson said.