DULUTH, Minn. — A Duluth landlord has been charged with setting fire to his own apartment while blasting Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire" as first responders arrived.
Travis Lee Carlson, 37, is charged with first-degree arson after prosecutors say he intentionally set his apartment ablaze on Thursday, May 18.
Court documents say officers were called to the fire just after 4 a.m. on the 2400 block of West 4th Street in Duluth. When first responders arrived, they saw flames jumping from the upstairs apartment, which was occupied by Carlson, according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint goes on to say that a tenant reported they were awakened earlier to Carlson allegedly "smashing glass and breaking things." After about 20 minutes, Carlson knocked on the tenant's door and said that the building was on fire.
A neighbor called 911 and reportedly saw Carlson at around 3:30 a.m. wearing a helmet and smashing his own windows, according to court documents. The neighbor also said they saw Carlson under his truck with gas cans, going in and out of the home. The witness said they then saw what appeared to be fire coming from the upstairs apartment, the criminal complaint says.
Investigators say they found a hole drilled in the gas tank of Carlson's truck with a drill laying nearby, and located lids to gas cans laying on the ground by the vehicle. There were also traces from a "burned accelerant" and several wires pulled out from the electrical panel.
Court documents say when Carlson was found the next day, he had fresh burn injuries to his arms and legs. No other physical injuries have been reported from the fire.
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