Neighbor arrested after fire investigation reveals arson

Monday, June 11, 2012 | 4:05 p.m. CDT; updated 11:29 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 11, 2012

COLUMBIA — A tiff over loud music escalated into an arrest early Monday morning, after investigators determined a mobile home fire had been intentionally set with the residents inside.

Residents of Lot 77 at Colonial Village mobile home park, 2904 N. Rangeline St., told police they heard an explosion just before 3 a.m. Monday, and fire could be seen in the bathroom shortly thereafter. All six occupants, including one child, were able to escape safely, said Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Steven Sapp.

During the subsequent investigation, neighbor Joseph Warren, 44, was taken to the Columbia Police Department for questioning, and was arrested and charged with arson, said Officer Stephanie Drouin.

Residents had called police earlier that night to complain about loud music coming from Warren's trailer, which landed him a city summons for disturbing the peace, Drouin said.

Police believe Warren acted out of anger over the noise violation.

At the time of the incident, Warren was three days into a 58-day home incarceration sentence for driving without a license, and just 72 hours earlier had completed a two-day stay in Boone County Jail. 

Investigators said an incendiary device was used to start the fire. Damage to the property was estimated at $2,000, Sapp said.

Bond was set at $4,500 each for a child endangerment charge and one count of armed criminal action. Bond will be added for one count of arson when Warren appears before a judge.

Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.

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Chris Cady June 12, 2012 | 2:51 p.m.

"Residents...told police they heard an explosion just before 3 a.m. Monday, and fire could be seen in the bathroom shortly thereafter."

They didn't go to Taco Bell that evening did they?

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