NORTHFIELD (WCCO) — A 46-year-old man has been accused of intentionally starting a fire at a Northfield nursing home on Feb. 5, 2012, according to police.
William Jerald Kelly was charged with first-degree arson of a dwelling, which carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, Northfield Police were dispatched on the report of a fire to the Valley View Board and Lodge located on 812 Linden St. N. When they arrived, smoke and fire was seen in the building and staff members were evacuating residents.
While helping residents exit the building, an officer was informed that a man, later identified as Kelly, wanted to speak to her. He allegedly told the officer, “I set a fire to my clothes in the closet. I kicked off the fire alarm, closed and locked my bedroom then went out the entrance door to the parking lot.”
When he was asked why he started the fire, Kelly said, “I’m tired of people being mistreated and being bullied.” He added later that he felt oppressed, the complaint said.
Kelly was then taken to the Northfield Emergency Room for an evaluation and later taken to the Hennepin County Acute Psychiatric Services for an evaluation.
Damages to the building were estimated to be around $215,000.