Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Man accused of setting fire to Longmont-area home, trying to clear cobwebs with blowtorch facing arson

A 39-year-old man has been arrested and is facing arson charges after he allegedly set his mother’s home on fire while trying to get rid of Cobb with a blowtorch.

John Charles Streckenbach has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson, criminal mischief causing damages of $20,000 to $100,000, possession of a controlled substance, and breach of a safety order.

There were no serious injuries in the fire that started at around 4:25 p.m. on the 8800 block of Vermillion Road north of Longmont in Boulder County.

According to an affidavit, Streckenbach admitted to using a blow torch to get rid of cobwebs in the crawlspace under the house’s basement. He said he himself tried to put out the fire for an hour before calling emergency workers.

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The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to the home.

Deputies found a lit section of crawlspace that was free of cobwebs, with a blowtorch on the ground.

According to an affidavit, Streckenbach had a court order stating that he should not be within 100 feet of the residence or be around his stay-at-home mother.

Streckenbach’s mother said she had been allowing him to stay at home until recently because he is homeless.

According to the affidavit, police said they also found a small bag of methamphetamine on Streckenbach.

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