ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 28-year-old man pleaded guilty to arson Thursday in connection with a St. Paul house fire in early January that displaced six people, including two young children.

David Allen Mason pleaded guilty to first-degree arson in Ramsey County Court in connection with the incident. According to a complaint, Mason had an argument with another resident of the rental home on the 1500 block of Virginia Street on the night of Jan. 2.

Authorities learned through an investigation that four men rented bedrooms in the home. The person who called 911 and her two young children frequently visit the home to see a person who rents an upstairs bedroom. Mason allegedly approached the woman and told her he was interested in having a romantic and sexual relationship with her, according to the complaint. When she rejected the advances, Mason became angry.

Mason then piled several dresser drawers on his bed and lit them on fire. Authorities responded to the scene at about 1 a.m. on Jan. 3 and when they arrived, they had to kick in a door to enter the house and got all the residents outside safely.

Nobody was injured in the fire, but damage from the incident was estimated at more than $56,000.

Mason will be sentenced April 11. He faces up to 20 years in prison.


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