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Police: SD man says he tried to frame neighbor by setting fire to his own apartment

MITCHELL, S.D. -- A Mitchell man was arrested Wednesday night, Oct. 10, for allegedly setting fire to his own apartment in an attempt to frame a neighbor, police said Thursday morning.

The Mitchell Fire Department and Mitchell Police Division responded to a fire in a South Burr Street apartment at 6:08 p.m. and, according to a press release, found the fire suspicious after initial investigation.

When interviewed at the police department, Harry Kirkvold, 64, the tenant in the apartment, reportedly said he used gasoline to start a fire in his apartment, attempting to make it look like his next-door neighbor, with whom he had an ongoing feud, had started it.

Kirkvold’s room in the apartment was damaged significantly, but authorities said no other rooms appear to have been affected, and no one was injured in the fire.

Kirkvold is charged with first-degree arson, a Class 2 felony. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

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