VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Police have charged a 39-year-old Gregory Oechsner with arson after an apartment fire left 12 people and four pets displaced.

The fire broke out in the 600 block of Grant Avenue just before 8:15 p.m.

When crews arrived they saw heavy smoke coming from the second floor of the apartment.

The fire started on the second floor and was under control within 15 minutes.

Five adults, seven children, two cats, a dog, and a rabbit were at home were the fire started. They all made is out safely, but have been displaced due to the damage.

From the Virginia Beach Jail, Oechsner spoke to the 13News Now. He admits he was the one who started the fire, but not intentionally.

"I was lighting up the furries on the bed and it took off like a bat out of hell," he explained.

Oechsner said it started in the bedroom and spread.

From the jail, he said he regrets what happened and he's glad no one was hurt.

"I'd take that back in a hurry. I don't wish that upon anybody," he said.

His fiancee, however, told 13News Now on Friday she is very upset with him. She claims she lost nearly $7,000 worth of belongings in the fire.

Oechsner remains in custody at the Virginia Beach Jail. Online records show he's not bondable.