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UPDATE: Fire department determines cause of fire started by arsonist

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | 2:46 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The fire department determined that a fire at 1206 Park de Ville Condominiums was started with a lighter found in the master bedroom. Nicholas Gibbs, 29, was charged Monday with starting it.

Police arrested Gibbs for arson after they were originally dispatched to a domestic disturbance report. As of Tuesday morning, no additional charges against Gibbs were made.

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Sgt. Jill Wieneke of the Columbia Police Department confirmed that no weapons were found at the scene.

Fire investigators said they think Gibbs barricaded himself in the room using furniture, then used the lighter to set fire to combustible materials found in the room. He escaped the flames by jumping from a balcony close to the master bedroom.

The fire department determined there was $35,000 to $40,000 in damages to the unit, but damage estimates in eight other units are unknown. There was water and smoke damage to four of the eight units in the complex. 


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