Abandoned home burns in Woodland, man arrested on suspicion of arson
Early on Friday, emergency personnel responded to an abandoned home in Woodland that had gone up in flames.
Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies later arrested a 48-year-old Syracuse man on suspicion of arson after he admitted he had brought gasoline, a fire extinguisher and a camera into the home to document starting fires, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The man started two fires in the home and successfully put them out with the fire extinguisher, according to the affidavit, but the third fire got out of hand.
The man sustained burns to his face and hands and was transported from the scene to the hospital. He initially denied involvement in the fire, saying he stopped when he saw smoke at the house when he was driving by, according to the affidavit.
Later, however, he approached sheriff’s detectives and told them he started the fire, according to the affidavit.
He said he knew the residence to be abandoned and that he had mounted his phone on a tripod to record videos of him starting fires.
The damages are estimated at more than $5,000.
As of Tuesday morning, the man had not been formally charged. The Park Record does not typically name suspects who have not been charged.
Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright said incidents of arson are not taken lightly, and that arsonists do not consider the risk to emergency personnel.
“Anytime a structure fire starts, first responders’ first priority is saving lives,” Wright wrote in an email. “When someone intentionally starts a fire, it jeopardizes many lives, including all the first responders tasked with dealing with the fire.”
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The missing man, Kyle S. Wimpenny, of Boise, Idaho, left for a backpacking trip Sunday, Sept. 13 and was supposed to return home Wednesday, Sept. 16.