A Canadian woman won a divorce battle that meant she'd be allowed to stay in her home while her abusive husband paid the mortgage—and less than 48 hours after that decision, the house burned to the ground. Police in Calgary, Alberta, confirmed the Dec. 3 fire occurred under suspicious circumstances as Molotov cocktails were hurled through the windows, reports the CBC. The fire destroyed the home occupied by Natasha Bourdon, who was away at the time, as well as a second home, and badly damaged two others. Less than 48 hours earlier, a judge had ruled against Bourdon's incarcerated husband, 42-year-old Trevor Deitz, who'd wanted to evict Bourdon and secure a renter while listing the house for sale. The judge instead chose to allow Bourdon to stay at the home while she arranged the sale. Deitz was ordered to cover the mortgage in the meantime.
The CBC reports that Deitz has ties to organized crime that surfaced in court documents after a domestic violence incident last fall. Deitz had attacked Bourdon and threatened to kill her when he learned she was trying to leave him, per the CBC. Prosecutors said he surprised her as she slept, punching her multiple times in the face and choking her until she fell unconscious. Bourdon also suffered a broken wrist. In fear, she failed to turn up in court to testify against Deitz just a day before he pleaded guilty to eight offenses, including aggravated assault, in May, per the Calgary Herald. He was sentenced to two years in prison on top of time already served. Per the CBC, Bourdon's family says Deitz has continued to contact his wife, including using friends as intermediaries, while she pursues a divorce. Police have not said whether they have suspects in the fire. (Read more house fire stories.)