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Sioux Falls, S.D., man pleads to lesser charge for burning down home in Clarkfield, Minn..

GRANITE FALLS -- Aaron Dean Ohlson, 35, of Sioux Falls, S.D., and formerly of Clarkfield, pleaded guilty Monday to an amended charge of third-degree arson for setting his own home on fire.

The charge was reduced from first-degree level as part of a plea agreement in Yellow Medicine County District Court. Ohlson will be sentenced Dec. 11.

The charge was filed after July 9, when the Clarkfield Fire Department and Ambulance were called around 11:20 p.m. to a house fire along 240th Avenue in rural Clarkfield.

The responding deputy located Ohlson, who said it was his home that burned and that he had started the fire. Ohlson was questioned by the deputy and the fire chief and said that he had wanted the house to burn down since he was 12 years old.

The State Fire Marshal was called to investigate after firemen reported there were melted gas cans in the house and that the fire seemed suspicious.

The investigation revealed the kitchen cabinets were damaged, an axe was found on the kitchen floor and a room had been ransacked.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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