PITTSBURG, Kan. — A local man was arrested for arson and assault over the weekend after a fire at his home was determined to have been set intentionally, according to the Pittsburg Police Department.
On Sunday morning, at approximately 5:25 a.m., units from the Pittsburg fire and police departments were dispatched to the residence located at 615 E. 22nd St. in reference to a report of an active structure fire.
Neighbors in the area reported hearing a loud noise and then observing the residence at 615 E. 22nd St. on fire. One of the residents of the home, later identified as 38-year-old Justin L. Smutz, was observed walking away from the structure after it was already ablaze, and then standing in the front yard watching the fire, according to a police press release.
While officers were on scene with Smutz, he allegedly became agitated toward one of the other residents and tried to strike them, and was taken into custody without further incident. He was later transported to the Crawford County Jail. An investigator from the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office responded to process the scene, and items of evidence were located within the residence indicating the fire had been intentionally set, according to police.
Smutz was arrested for felony arson, misdemeanor assault, and violation of the conditions of parole, and was being held in lieu of a $10,000 bond.
The incident was still under investigation Monday afternoon. Anyone having information related to this incident, or other crimes, is urged to contact the Pittsburg Police Department at (620) 231-1700, or at the automated tip line, (620) 231-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.