Berks Co. man sets home on fire with family inside

November 3, 2011 7:13:22 AM PDT
Firefighters responded to a home in Berks County overnight, where police say a man set the house aflame with his family inside.

Police say it all began around 9:00 p.m. Wednesday when officers arrested 62-year-old Jeffry Hollowbush for DUI following a crash.

Hollowbush was taken to the hospital and around 11:00 p.m. he was released into the custody of his wife, Kathy. During the ride home, Jeffry told his wife he planned to burn their house down and kill himself. But she later told police he had made comments like that in the past, explaining how the couple was in the process of a divorce and Jeffry had recently lost his job.

When they arrived at their home on Oysterdale Road in Pike Township, Jeffry called his 17-year-old daughter and told her she had 15 minutes to save his life.

When the daughter arrived, the house was already on fire and she observed her father standing in a basement doorway with his pants on fire. She pleaded for him to come out of the house but he would not. She said she then saw her father point a shotgun at his head and walk back inside the burning house - and then she heard a gunshot.

After the fire was extinguished Hollowbush's body was found just inside the basement doorway where his daughter last saw him. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after midnight.

No one else was injured in the fire.

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