By Sara Powers

(CBS DETROIT) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged a Wayne County man with arson following a house fire the occurred in 2019.

Patrick Nolan, 40, was arraigned in Wayne County 35th District Court last week on the following charges:

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  • One count of arson of an insured dwelling, a felony punishable by life in prison, and/or $20,000 or three times the property’s value, whichever is greater.
  • One count of second-degree arson, a felony punishable by 20 years in prison, and/or $20,000 or three times the property’s value, whichever is greater.

Nessel and The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Fraud Investigation Unit worked together to investigate this case.

Plymouth Township Police and Fire Departments responded to a house fire at 50081 Shefield Court for a house fire early on January 1, 2019.

Nolan was the owner of the home, which was insured for loss caused by fire.

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Two investigations, one by Michigan State Police and the other by EFI Global, determined arson was the cause for the following reasons:

  • The fire originated in three separate unconnected areas identified as the master bedroom, basement storage room, and the common hall at the top of the basement stairs
  • The first material ignited was ignitable liquid vapors identified by laboratory analysis as gasoline
  • The source of ignition was an open flame igniting gasoline vapors
  • The fire was human-caused.

In addition to these findings, Nolan’s truck was parked at the house less than two hours before the fire was reported by one of his neighbors.

“When one person tries to take advantage of insurance coverage through criminal acts, it affects all of us,” Nessel said. “I appreciate the investigative coordination between my office and DIFS that resulted in these serious criminal charges.”

Bond was set at $250,000, 10 percent, with the conditions he must forfeit all weapons, his passport and will be placed on a tether if released.

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