Ottumwa Man Charged with Arson

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An Ottumwa man was charged after police say he intentionally started a fire inside an apartment on Thursday.

61-year-old Michael Christensen has been charged with first-degree arson – persons present, a Class B felony.

According to court records, at 8:22 AM, officers responded to a fire inside an apartment on North Green Street in Ottumwa. Law enforcement saw Christensen inside the apartment.

After Christensen was removed from the apartment, officers allegedly observed a lighter in his hand. Inside the apartment, court documents say officers found evidence that Christensen lit a Roman candle inside the apartment that set a bear and bench on fire.

Christensen was arrested and transported to the Wapello County Jail. His bail has been set at $10,000.

Christensen has a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 29.

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