Name released of man charged with attempted homicide by fire
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — A 61-year-old man will likely face charges of attempted homicide by setting multiple fires in a home.
According to a police news release, on Aug. 24 at approximately 3:14 a.m., local authorities responded to 2509 Simonis St. for a report of a fire inside of the residence. Officers were informed by two of the four residents that they woke up to find that their bed was on fire, started by who has been identified as Gary McDonald.
After extinguishing the fire, another small fire was found at the top of the staircase. A third fire was located on a clothes hamper just outside a bedroom of another resident. These fires were also extinguished prior to the arrival of emergency personnel.
According to reports, all residents made it out of the house with very minor injuries.
Stevens Point Fire Department officials determined an ignitable liquid had been used to set the fire on the bed that was occupied two times. Assisting local police and fire with the processing of the scene was the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigations.
McDonald who is known by the residents, was found at 3:38 a.m. and was taken into custody for questioning. The defendant allegedly admitted to setting the occupied bed on fire by way of gasoline, as well starting the two other fires found in the home before exiting.
The defendant was taken to the Portage County Jail and arrested for two counts of attempted homicide, two counts of recklessly endangering safety, and one count of arson.
The investigation is continuing and more information will be made available following the suspect’s initial court appearance. If anyone has any further information regarding this incident please contact Detective Sergeant Robert Kussow at 715-346-1515.