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House fire now ruled arson; juveniles charged (UPDATED)

Smoke makes for a treacherous work environment for the MCFD.  Two juveniles have been arrested in connection with this fire.
Smoke makes for a treacherous work environment for the MCFD. Two juveniles have been arrested in connection with this fire.

MASON CITY – A house fire reported Thursday evening in Mason City has now been ruled arson and two juveniles have been charged.

Thursday at about 5:15 pm, the Mason City Fire Department responded to a house fire at 1619 South Wilson Ave.

According to police, as officers were clearing the area where the fire took place, a suspicious subject call came from Cresswell Repair located at 1308 South Taft Ave. Officers located two juveniles inside a vehicle at the location. The juveniles were runaways from Francis Lauer Youth Shelter and admitted to setting the house on fire. The juveniles also admitted to attempting to steal the vehicle they were found in. One juvenile attempted to flee but officers detained him.

The two juveniles, both from Mason City, arrested were:

– Stephen Allen Tidemanson, 14, on charges of 2nd degree arson, 2nd degree theft and interference with official acts

– Curtis Alan Anderson, 13, on charges of 2nd degree arson, 2nd degree theft

Both teens were sent to the Waterloo Detention Center. The investigation is on-going and more charges are possible.

From the Mason City Fire Department, February 15th, 2013:

Mason City – February 15, 2013 –The Mason City Fire Department responded twice to 1619 S Wilson Avenue last evening. At 5:08 p.m. the Department was called to a house fire. Upon arrival, fire fighters found flames visible in both sides of the house’s windows. The fire was extinguished and was mostly contained to the room where the fire was started. The Fire Department was at the house for approximately one hour. At 11:26 p.m., the Department was called back to the house for a report of fire showing from the windows. Upon arrival, the Department found the attic space had flames showing from the vent on the side of the home.

This fire was also extinguished and fire fighters removed the ceilings from the room where the original fire had been, as well as from the hallway and kitchen to remove as much insulation as possible.

The house is owned by Diane Kraling of Mason City. The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire and there was no utility service to the property. Fire Marshal Mark Christiansen investigated the fire and determined that it was intentionally set. Further investigation has been referred to the Mason City Police Department.

Anyone with any questions regarding this fire or the investigation is referred to the Mason City Police Department.

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