A 20-year-old man accused of torching a North Carolina apartment building that left 130 people homeless last week was in the U.S. illegally, the sheriff’s office told the Charlotte Observer.
Jesus Reyes Lopez, who was arrested Thursday in connection with the fire at the Woodscape Apartments, is an illegal immigrant from Mexico and is wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the paper reported.
He will likely be deported no matter the outcome of his arson and attempted murder case, according to the paper.
Police say 40 apartments were damaged as a result of the fire Monday, leaving the 130 residents without a place to live.
Sources told a local TV news outlet that Lopez set the fire as an act of revenge against an ex-girlfriend and the fire got out of control, the Observer reported.
The Red Cross was working to find new homes for the displaced residents.
Crews monitoring structure on Farm Pond Ln; Approximately 40 units affected with 130 persons displaced; 4:54 am; RCannon pic.twitter.com/VdJ5SSPM6R
— Charlotte Fire Dept. (@charlottefire) July 17, 2017
Seven people were hospitalized trying to escape the fire.
Residents reported people dropping children from the third floor of the building because the stairwell was on fire, blocking their escape, Fox 46 Charlotte reported.
Lopez was jailed on a $1 million bail.
Authorities checked his immigration status when he was booked into the jail, the Observer reported.