A 27-year-old man, upset that his girlfriend had broken up with him, set the woman's Coon Rapids townhouse ablaze, trapping her roommate on the second floor, according to recent felony charges.
Mark A. Lacek, of Mounds View, was charged Friday in Anoka County District Court with attempted murder, arson and fleeing police in connection with the fire set just before midnight Wednesday.
Lacek remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail ahead of an Oct. 22 court appearance. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
According to the criminal complaint:
Police were alerted to the fire at the side-by-side townhouse in the 12000 block of Xeon Street and arrived to see a man trapped upstairs as the flames grew below. Officers forced their way into the home and helped the man escape, uninjured.
Firefighters put out the blaze and determined that a "significant amount of gasoline" was poured through broken-out windows.
The man told police that Lacek had shown up at the home earlier and demanded to be let in. Rebuffed, Lacek left but soon returned. That's about the time the man, who was upstairs, heard windows breaking below and saw that the lower level was on fire, according to the charges.
Officers saw Lacek's car leaving the scene at more than 100 miles an hour and were unable to detain him.
The townhouse owner told police she had recently broken up with Lacek and that he had become increasingly hostile and unstable. At one point, she said, he threatened to kill her by burning down her home, according to the charges.
Police found four gasoline cans lined up next to Lacek's car at his home. While arresting him, police said, they detected a strong smell of gasoline coming from him.