Jack Potts and his girlfriend were in shock for much of the morning, while pondering over the events that had unfolded inside her north Phoenix home.
It all started shortly before 4 a.m., when Potts' girlfriend received an alert on her cell phone that her home security alarm had been triggered. The couple, who were not home, immediately called police.
"We met them in the alley, they came at the front door, entered the house," Potts said. "Initially, we gave them a key. It was obvious someone was inside the house."
Potts says the burglar, who he believes was desperate to evade police, barricaded himself in a front bedroom and set a fire.
"I believe he had to come through the fire to escape," he said. "They took him down. I don't think he was particularly cooperative."
Phoenix fire crews were called in by Phoenix police to put out the flames before they spread. The house has major smoke and water damage and the victim's cat, Benny, barely made it out alive.
Cell phone video shot by Phoenix fire shows firefighters using a FIDO bag to save the cat's life.
"PD reported to us they had smoke billowing out of the house," Capt. Reda Bigler said. "Condition... not very good, cat unresponsive, so at that point they pulled the cat outside. He's not responsive. We get the FIDO bag from one of our trucks."
Potts and his girlfriend are hopeful for a full recovery and grateful they weren't home when the burglar busted in.
"The house is pretty much ruined," he said.
Potts' girlfriend tells FOX 10 that at this point in the investigation, it appears to be a random break in. Police have not released the identify of the suspect.