Minnesota Arsonist Sentenced To Five Years

A St. Paul man was sentenced Wednesday to 5 years in prison for setting a fire that forced six people to flee from a North End-area house.

No one was hurt but a cat died in the early-morning blaze set Jan. 3 by David A. Mason, 28.

Mason pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court in February to one count of first-degree arson.

Authorities say that he ignited dresser drawers piled on his bed after a 22-year-old woman who often visited the Virginia Street address rejected his advances.

He told police at the time of his arrest that he had flirted with the woman, and that she had flirted back, charges say.

He was arrested in Maplewood on the morning of the fire after slipping out of the house with his dog. The home's six other occupants ranged in age from 5 months to 71 years.

District Judge Judith Tilsen also ordered Mason to pay restitution in the case.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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