In Denial: Man Accused Of Arson Says Victims Were Like Family

CLEVELAND (AP) - A man accused of setting a Cleveland house fire that killed nine people, including eight children at a birthday sleepover, says he would never do anything to harm a child.

Antun Lewis tells The Associated Press in a short handwritten note from prison that he's crazy about children. He says he knew the victims and they were like family to him.

He was indicted two weeks ago by a federal grand jury in the May 21, 2005, fire.

Lewis, who could face the death penalty if convicted, is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 30.

He is locked up at a state prison in Lucasville, Ohio, on unrelated drug and weapon charges.