Greenfield man arrested after setting his own house on fire

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 18:19:30-04

A Greenfield man has been arrested after he reportedly admitted to setting his own house on fire.

Greenfield police say the incident stemmed from a disagreement between people living in the home located at S. 46th St. They say a 26-year-old-man admitted to police he set his basement on fire.

Cellphone video from a neighbor showed Greenfield firefighters fighting the flames. A day later, everything is gone but investigators are still at the home a day later.

"It grew quicker than he expected and he had to hurry up and get himself and other residents outside of the house before it got fully engulfed," said Greenfield Police Captain Eric Lindstrom.

Witnesses said when police arrived the man was standing in front of the house watching his home burn with a drink and suitcase in his hands.

"It was very surprising. I can't fathom anybody setting your dwelling on fire. Wouldn't have any idea why someone would think that's a good idea," said Jay Beutler, a neighbor.

Firefighters came across a suspicious device and the Milwaukee Bomb Squad was called, neighbors had to be evacuated.

"I'm just glad that no other houses got involved and no one got hurt," Beutler said.

The device turned out to be a false alarm. The 26-year-old suspect faces arson and recklessly endangering safety charges.

"We hope the best for them, we hope the best for the perpetrator that he gets the help that he needs," Beutler said.

A woman and young child were in the home and got out safely at the time of the fire. The incident still remains under investigation.