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Colorado man arrested after setting house on fire trying to clear cobwebs with a blowtorch

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Mitchell Byars

Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.

A 39-year-old man has been arrested and faces arson charges after reportedly setting his mother’s house on fire while trying to get rid of cobwebs with a blowtorch.

Jon Charles Streckenbach has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson, criminal mischief causing $20,000 to $100,000 in damages, possession of a controlled substance and violation of a protection order.

No serious injuries were reported in the fire, which occurred about 4:25 p.m. in the 8800 block of Vermillion Road, north of Longmont in Boulder County.

According to an affidavit, Streckenbach admitted to using a blow torch to get rid of the cobwebs in the crawlspace under the home’s basement. He said he attempted to put out the fire for an hour by himself before calling emergency crews.

The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damages to the home.

Deputies found a charred section of the crawlspace that was free of cobwebs, with a blowtorch on the ground.

According to an affidavit, Streckenbach had a court order that stated he was not supposed to be within 100 feet of the residence or be around his mother, who lived in the house.

Streckenbach’s mother said she had been allowing him to stay at the home recently because he is homeless.

According to the affidavit, police said they also found a small bag of methamphetamine on Streckenbach.

He remains in custody pending a bond hearing on Wednesday. Streckenbach’s booking photo was not immediately available.

Streckenbach has prior convictions for false reporting, possession of a controlled substance, marijuana distribution, gaming fraud and theft, according to online court records.

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