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Man pleads guilty to starting St. Paul warehouse fire

May 27, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Golden Valley man has pleaded guilty to starting a fire that consumed four vacant warehouses in St. Paul last year.

The Pioneer Press reported Thursday that 19-year-old Luis Adrian Rodriguez was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation after entering his plea to a charge of starting a negligent fire-value of property $2,500 or more. Prosecutors dropped a felony arson charge against him.

According to court documents, Rodriguez told police he and his friends were exploring the buildings and he used a lighter to set an envelope and a box on fire and the flames quickly spread out of control.

Nearly 90 firefighters needed almost an entire day to extinguish the blaze.