Cops: Man set ex-girlfriend’s NJ home afire, texted photo of it to friend

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J.  — A New Jersey man allegedly set fire to his ex-girlfriend’s home while eight people slept inside and then texted a photo of the burning home to a friend.

Somerset County prosecutors say 34-year-old Patrick Hammond, of Somerville, is charged with arson and attempted murder. It’s not known if he’s retained an attorney.

Hammond allegedly set fire to the Hillsborough home around 12:40 a.m. Sunday.

The residents, who range in age from 4 to 64 years old, were able to safely escape. But the fire severely damaged the home.

Prosecutors say Hammond ran off but was less than a mile away from the home when officers found him about an hour later. He eventually was taken to a hospital for an evaluation because he was acting erratically at police headquarters.

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