SARTELL -- A Sartell man has been charged with 1st-degree arson after allegedly trying to burn down his mother-in-law's home back in June 2019.

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According to the criminal complaint, 40-year-old Erin Idzerda had been checking on the home since October 2017.

The home had sat empty since May 2019, as his mother-in-law was receiving treatment for cancer at Mayo Clinic. She died a month later.

Records show a neighbor reported to police suspicious activity involving Idzerda a few days before the fire. The neighbor stated the home's window blinds were askew, a light was on upstairs and there was a smell of burning paint and plastic.

Records show Idzerda told police he was at the home two days before the fire and talked about his mother-in-law's 'hoarding problem' and 'if they couldn't sell the home, they would have to take another job to pay for the remaining mortgage balance.'

Court records show Idzerda also expressed his belief he could submit an insurance claim for the fire.

The Sartell Fire Marshal arrive at the home in the 800 block of 2 1/2 Street North and determined the fire started in the basement from a pile of combustibles that had been intentionally set on fire by a match or cigarette lighter.

Idzerda's first court appearance is scheduled for June 14th.


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