Update: $380K in Damage Done in East St. Cloud Arson Fire
ST. CLOUD -- An estimated $380,000 in damage was done in an arson fire Thursday in east St. Cloud. The fire department says the fire was contained to the interior of the Pure Pleasure adult book store business in the 600 block of Highway 10 South.
The interior of the building received heavy smoke and heat damage. Damage to the building is estimated at about $55,000 with the loss of furniture and inventory estimated at $325,000.
Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton says around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, they were dispatched to the store after a report of a suspicious person.
According to police, an employee exited the store and called police after 32-year-old Cody Mann, entered the store with a gas can, pouring it over the interior of the store, then lighting it on fire. He fled the scene.
Officers found Mann a few blocks from the store and took him to the Benton County Jail, where he is being held on charges of 1st Degree Arson. Neither Mann or the clerk were hurt in the incident, and no one else was in the store at the time.
St. Cloud Fire was able to extinguish the fire and ventilate the building. Authorities say while the fire was contained to the interior of the building, there was heavy damage suffered, and the building is a total loss.
The investigation into the incident and Mann's motive is ongoing.
This is not the first time Mann has been in the news. He also faced charges in the Monticello area back in 2014 for allegedly skinning and baking his pet cat.