Construction Worker Arrested For Starting House Fire, Stealing Guns

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A house fire in Sioux Falls turned into a burglary and arson investigation for police.

Just before 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue arrived at a home in the 3000 block of East 20th Street. After firefighters put out the flames, inspectors identified multiple starting points for the fire. Sioux Falls Police public information officer Sam Clemens said the homeowners were not home at the time.

A wallet was found inside the home with no soot underneath it, which led investigators to believe it was dropped before the fire started. Clemens said the owner was a construction employee who had done work inside the home earlier in the week.

Police believe 24-year-old Jose Salamanca-Flores, of Sioux Falls, broke into the home through a window and stole several rifles and other firearms. According to Clemens, guns were found dropped throughout backyards in the neighborhood. Other guns were found at a business inside a false ceiling.

Salamanca-Flores was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary and arson. The estimated damage done to the home was not available.

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