MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 22-year-old man has been charged for allegedly starting a fire at the home of his ex-girlfriend’s parents.
According to the criminal complaint, Brandon Todd Sannan, of Akeley, Minn. has been charged with nine counts of first-degree attempted murder and one count of arson for a fire that occurred on Jan. 8.
Police say Sannan set the home on fire, well aware it was inhabited.
Timothy and Carla Voelke, the homeowners, reported the fire around 12:16 a.m. in the city of Chickama Beach. The home was a total loss.
An investigation revealed the Voelkes were at home at the time of the fire with their six grandchildren and another child. They were able to safely escape the fire unharmed but weren’t able to save anything else from the home.
Investigators learned the Voelkes’ daughter Whitney had just ended a relationship with Sannan. They told police Sannan had become increasingly possessive and would send their daughter 100 text messages a day.
According to the criminal complaint, Sannan sent several texts on Jan. 7, asking for Whitney to take him back, including some texts that included threats to have her assaulted. On the early morning of Jan. 8, police discovered another text from Sannan, apologizing for what he had done.
Police say Sannan took lighter fluid and a gas can from a nearby residence he was staying at and walked over to the Voelke residence. He told police he poured gas on the corner of the house, lit it on fire and walked away.
He then told police he noticed the fire was going out, so he came back, used the lighter to ignite a wicker chair on the deck and then left.
Police say the following morning Sannan went fishing with a friend, who stated Sannan smelled strongly of gasoline.
Each first-degree attempted murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, if convicted. A first-degree arson charge also carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Sannan’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 17.