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Arson arrest made in W’bago

By Staff | May 12, 2013

Arson is a serious crime that is not necessarily expected in small towns in Minnesota. But, on Thursday, May 2 an area home was determined to have been set ablaze intentionally.

The Winnebago Police Department stopped to look into a silver 1998 GMC pickup with Wisconsin plates that was parked in front of a home located at 34946 County Road 10 in Winnebago. The vehicle was parked in the wrong direction.

Officer Brittney Gehrking had noticed a male, now identified as Owen Scott Poole, had exited the vehicle, walking toward the home.

Gehrking noted that Poole appeared to be intoxicated and a strong odor of gasoline was eminating from his clothing.

After Poole had been arrested for suspicion of DWI, Gehrking and two Faribault County Deputies noticed a large amount of spilled gasoline in the bed of the GMC pickup.

As the GMC was being loaded onto the tow truck, deputies who were standing nearby heard glass break and observed flames coming out of the east windows of the home.

The Winnebago Fire Department responded to the call and extinguished the fire.

After investigating, the Minnesota State Fire Marshall’s Office, the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office and the Winnebago Fire Department determined the home was intentionally set on fire in seven separate spots. During the investigation, a partially melted gas can was found.

The home was vacant at the time of the fire and no injuries were incurred as a result of the fire.

Poole is currently being held at the Faribault County Jail and has been charged with DWI and first-degree and second-degree arson.

Assisting at the scene were the Winnebago Fire Department, Winnebago Ambulance Service, the Winnebago Police Department, Minnesota State Fire Marshall’s Office and the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office.