Man arrested for starting house fire while trying to burn spiders

ALTOONA, Pa. — A man has been arrested and charged with arson and other charges after reportedly starting a house fire in Altoona, Pennsylvania, on Thursday.

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The Altoona Police Department and Altoona Fire Department were called to a house on Logan Boulevard at around 7 p.m. after Joshua Jenkins, 42, called to report the fire, WTAJ reported.

When officers arrived at the house, Jenkins was reportedly “combative” and was difficult when questioned about the location of the fire, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the news outlet. Eventually, he told them he had been using a butane torch to burn spiders and nests around his house. It later that the butane torch was actually a propane torch.

Police said that the flame had caught the side of the house on fire, WJAC reported. Jenkins claimed he noticed the flame when he was mowing his neighbor’s lawn.

Authorities claimed that Jenkins tried to get in the way of the firefighters at the scene and allegedly hid the torch from them, the news outlet reported.

Jenkins has been charged with arson, risking a catastrophe, possession of an instrument of crime, tampering with evidence and other lesser charges, WTAJ reported.

A preliminary hearing is expected to be held on June 7, the news outlet reported. He is being held on a $75,000 bail.

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