Charges laid after man’s sweater allegedly set on fire

Sarnia Fire and Rescue on scene of a structure fire on Maxwell Street - March 13/19 (Photo courtesy of Sarnia Fire and Rescue via Twitter)

Sarnia police said a man faces arson-related charges after a man’s sweater was set on fire at a Maxwell Street duplex Wednesday afternoon.

Police and Sarnia firefighters responded to a residence near Napier Street at about 2:30 p.m.

Cst. John Sottosanti said the fire started following an altercation.

“It was determined that several people were within the residence and it is alleged that prior to the fire, the accused was upset about something with another resident,” said Sottosanti. “The incident escalated to the point that a third person attempted to intervene and his sweater was set on fire.”

Cst. Sottosanti said, fortunately, the person was able to remove the sweater before being seriously burned, but the fire spread very quickly in the house.

Fire Prevention Officer Roel Bus said the blaze was mostly contained to the second storey.

“It kind of got into the attic a little bit, but most of the structure I’d say was left intact,” said Bus. “Damage was between $40,000 and $50,000.”

James Lawrence Kelly, 23, of Sarnia was arrested and remained in custody on Thursday awaiting a bail hearing on charges of assault with a weapon, arson with disregard for life, and arson causing damage to property.