Minnesota landlord accused of torching his own duplex while playing ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’
A Minnesota landlord has been accused of starting a fire on his property, leaving Billy Joel’s 1989 history-based hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire” playing amidst the blaze.
Travis Lee Carlson, 37, was charged Tuesday with first-degree arson, accused of setting fire to a duplex property he owns in Duluth.
A witness called 911 at around 4 a.m. Thursday to report a fireball from the upper level, occupied by Mr. Carlson.
The witness also claimed to have seen Mr. Carlson wearing a helmet, smashing his own windows, and going to his truck and back into the building with gas cans at around 3:30 a.m.
A tenant also reported being woken up before the fire broke out by the sound of items and glass being smashed and shattered by Mr. Carlson.
The landlord then came around 20 minutes later to warn them the building was on fire, according to court documents cited by KARE-TV.
When first responders arrived, the upper level was engulfed in flames, with the blaze accompanied by the blaring sound of Billy Joel’s 1989 hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” which recounts 40 years of 20th-century history and pop culture.
Investigators found the lids of gas cans near Mr. Carlson’s truck, the tank of which had a hole drilled into it. Green traces of a burned accelerant were found throughout the complex, and wires were found pulled out of the electrical panel in the building’s basement.
Mr. Carlson was arrested Friday with fresh burns on his arms and legs.
Of the three people and one cat living at the building, only Mr. Carlson was injured; damages to the building and property within are estimated at $25,000, according to the Duluth News Tribune.