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Clarkfield, Minn., man charged for setting fire at his own home

GRANITE FALLS -- Aaron Dean Ohlson, 35, of Clarkfield, made his first court appearance Wednesday on a first-degree arson charge for allegedly setting his own home on fire.

Unconditional bail was set at $150,000. His next appearance in Yellow Medicine County District Court is Aug. 27.

According to the complaint, the Clarkfield Fire Department and Ambulance were called around 11:20 p.m. Monday to a house fire along 240th Avenue in rural Clarkfield.

The res-ponding de-puty lo-cated Oh-lson, 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 allegedly said that he had wanted the house to burn down since he was 12 years old. Ohlson was transported to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

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.

During an interview with the fire marshal, Ohlson allegedly said he used gasoline to start the fire.

He later told a deputy he'd forgotten that he chopped holes in the cabinets and trashed the room.

He was taken to the law enforcement center and arrested on the arson charge.

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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