UPDATE: Austin fire suspect now charged with six counts of attem - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Austin fire suspect now charged with six counts of attempted first degree murder

Darrell Wigham Darrell Wigham
AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -

UPDATE: There are new charges filed against a man already facing a first-degree arson charge in Austin.

A criminal complaint shows Darrell Wigham, of Austin, is facing six attempted first degree murder charges after Wednesday's incident.

The complaint indicates Wigham was having arguments with other people who were living at 304 11th Avenue Southwest. According to the complaint, Wigham had indicated he would try to kill the other residents but wasn't taken seriously. It goes on to say Wigham poured paint thinner around various parts of the house prior to the incident.

The complaint adds that the Fire Marshall stated the fire was started by use of an accelerant in parts of the house. The Fire Marshall believed the fire had been burning for up to an hour before it was reported.

Bail has been set at $1,000,000.


PREVIOUS STORY: A man is charged with first degree arson after a house fire in Austin.

According to jail records, the man's name is Darrell Wigham. KTTC's crew on scene interviewed Wigham earlier Wednesday morning, who claimed he was a witness to the commotion.

"Now all three suspects are saying it was me," says Wigham, "Nobody was here when I left! I was on my way to Albert Lea.  It's weird that they're saying I did it when I was at my P.O's office, you know?"

Later Wednesday afternoon, Wigham was taken into custody and charged with first degree arson.

"At this point, interviews have been conducted.  It does appear the fire is suspicious in nature and this is an ongoing investigation at this time," says Chief Brian Krueger of the Austin Police Department.

The fire took place around 10 a.m. Wednesday along the 300 block of 11th Avenue Southwest. The fire caused the roof to cave in and the home is now considered a total loss. 

A police officer at the scene was treated for smoke inhalation, but was not seriously injured.


PREVIOUS STORY: At least one person is under arrest after a house fire in Austin.

Authorities are investigating after the roof of a two-story house caved in Wednesday on 11th Avenue Southwest.  Fire officials say the house is a total loss.

The call came in around 10 a.m.

Fire officials say when they arrived on the scene, police were helping some people get off the roof.

"They just said 'the house is on fire,' " recalls witness Darrell Wigham, talking about speaking on the phone with friends today.  He said he couldn't believe when he was told the house was burning down.  He was on his way to Albert Lea when he got the news.

The State Fire Marshall's Office is investigating the cause of the blaze.  Law enforcement officials say police won't be releasing information on any arrests for now.

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