Man charged with arson of Virginia Beach apartment where he lived

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A man has been charged with arson of the apartment where he lives.

Officials were called to an apartment fire in the 600 block of Grant Avenue shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday.

Five adults, seven children, two cats, a dog and a rabbit were home at the time the fire started but all made it out safely.

One adult was taken to a hospital for treatment of non life threatening injuries.

Fire investigators charged 39-year-old Gregory James Oechsner with Arson of an Occupied Dwelling. Officials say Oechsner lives in the apartment.

News 3 spoke to Oechsner at the jail on Friday afternoon. At first he told a reporter the fire was an accident, but later said he started it on purpose. "Yeah, I did start it on purpose," he said. "Just didn't think it was going to take off as bad as it did." He later added that he's sorry.

He was taken to Virginia Beach Jail.