Warrant: Boyfriend of evicted tenant believed to have started Minneapolis house fire
A fire that heavily damaged a home in Minneapolis last month is believed to have been started by a tenant's boyfriend who was evicted a day earlier, according to a warrant application.
Minneapolis Fire crews were called to a fire near N. Emerson Avenue and 36th Avenue at about 8 p.m. on Jan. 8. Firefighters found a fully-involved house and worked to extinguish the flames, but the home suffered a major loss, authorities said.
According to the affidavit, investigators learned the tenant, her children and her boyfriend, Henry Jones, had been evicted the day before the fire.
It states that on the day of the fire, Jones was seen several times by a neighbor, and the last time he was seen Jones had picked up the neighbor's empty gas can and looked at it before setting it back down and leaving the neighbor's yard to head back toward the home. Within 10 minutes, the home was on fire, the affidavit states.
Minneapolis Fire Department responds to 2 fires within a mile of each other
While investigating the fire, an investigator found a purple duffel bag lying on the ground on the south side of the home, and men's clothing was found inside. The former tenant told authorities she'd given the duffel bag and clothing to Jones after they were evicted and prior to the fire, the affidavit states. The tenant's caseworker also saw the duffel bag and confirmed the clothing inside belonged to Jones.
The affidavit states the caseworker told authorities she believed Jones had something to do with the fire.
A witness told investigators she'd overheard Jones say he'd "light this place up before anyone gets it," the day they'd been evicted from the home, according to the affidavit. The tenant's ex-boyfriend and father of her children also reported that Jones started the fire after taking a lockbox and service cat from the home. He added that the tenant had also told him that Jones sent the tenant a Facebook message saying, "your baby daddy is going to kill me when he figures out that it was me that started the fire."
No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.