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Redwood Falls man charged with arson for trailer park fire

(Redwood Falls, MN) – A Redwood Falls man is accused of intentionally starting a fire in a trailer park last summer.

Jacob Kelly Leith, 27, was charged last week with felony counts of 1st-degree arson and criminal damage to property in Redwood County Court.

According to the criminal complaint, police were dispatched in July 2018 to a fire at Eastwood Estates.  Flames had fully engulfed an RV by the time they arrived, and Kelly’s father was attempting to extinguish the fire with a garden house.  Kelly  James Leith told police he believed his son was inside the burning RV.

Court documents say that no human remains were found inside the RV after the fire was extinguished.

The criminal complaint says that while officers were still at the scene, dispatch advised that Jacob Leith was at the Redwood County Law Enforcement Center asking to speak to an officer about the fire.  Leith was covered in soot and told police he had set the blaze, according to court documents.

Jacob Leith told police he occasionally stayed at the RV, which belonged to his father.  He was concerned, he said, because there was a man upset with him trying to break into the RV.  Leith said he lit pillowcases on fire between the front seats, got the fire going, and jumped out the RV’s back window when a man entered.  Leith told police he had used meth several hours before the fire, according to the complaint.

An investigation by the state fire marshall concluded the fire was arson.

The RV was considered a total loss.

Leith’s first court date is set for September 16th.

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