A 26-year-old California man has been arrested for allegedly starting a house fire over the weekend that killed his father.

The incident happened around 1 p.m. Sunday. Fire crews responded to a house fire incident at a duplex on Valley View Road near Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood. One person was taken out of the house and transported to a hospital in critical condition. The man, identified as Jim Hassey, was later pronounced dead, NewsChannel5 reported.

According to a warrant, a witness told investigators that the victim’s son, John Hassey, was standing in the back of the house watching the fire, WKRN reported. When John Hassey was asked by the witness if everyone was okay, he said, “I’m sure he will be alright,” the report said.

Another witness told police that when he went to ask John Hassey if he needed any help, the latter stated, “you can help him if you want.”

Enoch Hartman, a neighbor who went to the house after he saw smoke coming out of it, said: "There was a guy standing there in shorts, he didn’t have a shirt, and flip flops, and he had a cup, like he was drinking out of a cup, and they said 'Is there anybody else in there hurt?' And he said, 'yes.'"

"It was strange," Hartman added.

Witnesses saw John Hassey leave the scene after the fire, prompting them to inform police. Later, he was found sitting on a curb several houses away, fire department officials said.

Investigators determined that the fire was set intentionally in John Hassey’s room, which killed the father. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze but one side of the duplex was destroyed. Occupants on the other side were able to escape safely and the unit sustained minimal damage, the fire officials said.

The case is under investigation as the motive behind the incident remains unclear.

John Hassey was arrested and charged with felony arson and aggravated arson. According to officials, additional charges are also possible. He was booked into the Metro jail, where he was held on a $300,000 bond.

Last month, a New Jersey man was arrested for setting a house on fire that killed his infant daughter and her grandparents. The mother of the infant and one other person sustained critical injuries.

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