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Prosecutors: Man assaults wife at party, sets home afire

January 2, 2019

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a man assaulted his wife at a New Year’s Eve party and then returned to their home and set it on fire.

Ocean County prosecutors say Christopher Defeis faces several counts, including aggravated arson and aggravated assault. It wasn’t known Wednesday if the 45-year-old Toms River man has retained an attorney.

Authorities say Defeis and his wife argued Monday night during the party at a relative’s house. He then returned home, and the fire was reported around 5 a.m. Tuesday.

No one was in the home when firefighters arrived, but authorities say Defeis was sleeping in a car parked in the driveway. Investigators determined that the fire started in multiple places throughout the home and was ignited with an open flame.

A firefighter was treated at a hospital for burns to the forehead and hands.

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