BROOKRIDGE — Hernando County sheriff's deputies say a 61-year-old man tried to set his neighbor's home on fire early Monday morning after an ongoing dispute over the state of her property.
At about 3:30 a.m., Hernando deputies and firefighters were called to a fire at 14204 Edmonds St. in the Brookridge development. When authorities arrived, they found flames coming from the back of a mobile home.
The homeowner, Laurie Davis, who was inside the home when the fire started, told deputies she ran outside the home and saw her neighbor, Axel Kotowski, standing at the origin of the fire. Deputies contacted Kotowski, whose property is behind Davis'.
Axel admitted he repeatedly had complained to the homeowners association about the condition of Davis' property. He said he's trying to sell his home and feels that Davis' property is devaluing his.
After starting the fire, he returned to his home and retrieved a fire extinguisher, authorities said. He tried using it with little success. He told deputies he was trying to scare Davis.
Deputies charged Kotowski with attempted first-degree murder and arson. He was taken to the Hernando County Detention Center and was being held there Monday in lieu of $60,000 bail.