ORONOCO – The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office is investigating a suspected arson after a man was seen pouring gas on hay bales and starting them on fire.

Deputies were called around 7:45 p.m. Friday after a person saw a man walk to a gas station, fill up a canister and then head into a field in the 900 block of Second Avenue Southeast, Capt. Scott Behrns said. The man was then seen dumping the gas onto hay bales and lighting them on fire.

The estimated value of the bales was $300, Behrns said.

The Oronoco Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire.

Deputies were able to briefly speak to the man. He denied any involvement. 

It is believed that the man has no relationship to the property where the bales were located nor the owners.

The incident remains under investigation.

Public Safety Reporter

Emily is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. A Minnesota native, Emily worked at two newspapers in New England before returning to the Land of 10,000 Lakes in July 2018.