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Rochester man sets apartment on fire out of fear

From staff reports

A 60-year-old Rochester man set fire to his own downtown apartment unit in an effort to scare off intruders he thought were trying to break in.

Rochester fire crews responded to the fire shortly after 1:30 a.m. Thursday without a call, spotting smoke in the air in the 500 block of First Avenue Southwest as they were returning from a medical call.

The fire, in a second-floor apartment living room, was put out with water from the fire truck’s tank.

The tenant escaped on his own, unhurt, and was rescued from the roof.

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Fire officials found nothing to substantiate the man’s claims regarding intruders. He was taken into custody by the Rochester Police Department and taken to Saint Marys Hospital.

Fire and smoke damage was estimated at $10,000.

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