MIDDLETOWN — Authorities say a man set his family's house on fire late Wednesday afternoon.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said Thomas A. Farzan, 30, was standing near the back door of the house on Cherry Tree Lane around 5:40 p.m. as firefighters tried to find a way inside. When police tried to question Frazen, he ran, leading to a brief struggle before being arrested, according to Gramiccioni.

Fire at a house on Cherry Tree Lane in Middletown (Steve Heimbuch & Chris Duley)

Police learned Farzan had been staying at the house owned by his family and where his mother lives, but no one else was inside the house at the time of the fire, Gramiccioni said.

Fire investigators determined the fire was purposely set in the living room of the house, based on the pattern of the fire, according to the prosecutor. A statement from the prosecutor didn't make clear what about the pattern suggested it was intentional or that Farzan was the one to set it.

Farzan was charged with third-degree arson and fourth-degree resisting arrest and is being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending a detention hearing on Tuesday.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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