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Arrest Made In House Fire

January 22, 2014, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Arrest Made In House Fire

Sioux Falls police have arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with an overnight house fire they believe was a case of arson.

Jeremy James Larsen was taken into custody Wednesday morning after authorities received a tip from a neighbor.  But even before that, investigators had reason to believe the fire was no accident.

The call came in at about 2:30 a.m.  By the time firefighters arrived, the house was engulfed in flames.

While the crews fought flames and frigid temperatures, investigators had reason to believe someone intentionally set the house on fire because of the evidence they found inside.

"There were some areas of the floor that were burned and a gas can was found by the back door," Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Inspector Jon Wagner said.

Authorities also say the garage door and front door of the house were open, which helped feed the fire. Luckily, the house was vacant at the time because it was being remodeled.

The owners told police there was no gas can in the garage earlier in the night.  So, police got a search warrant and brought in a dog to sniff out clues.

"After an accelerant dog was brought in, we used him to hit on areas for a possible accelerant," Wagner said.

That evidence is now being tested.

"We sent some things into a laboratory to have examined for possible accelerants," Wagner said.

However the fire started, the damage is significant and one man is now accused of causing it.

Wagner says it could take two to three weeks to get the lab tests back.  Larsen could make his first court appearance on Thursday.

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