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SIMPSON, Pa. – Authorities say a man told police he set fire to his house after stabbing and strangling more than a dozen pets because he believed the residence was infested with mites.

Carbondale police say the 41-year-old man was seen walking away from the burning Fell Township home Friday.

Officials say he was found Saturday and said he killed 13 to 14 cats and two dogs, piled brush and branches in the basement, poured gas and set the home ablaze.

Chief Brian Bognatz said the man, who has a history of mental illness, said he believed the house was infested with mites and burning it down would solve the problem.

Officials said he was being evaluated at a hospital and would face charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, arson and aggravated arson.

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