Home security video captures man setting Lawrence house on fire, leads to arrest

photo by: Screenshot/Contributed video

Lawrence residents’ home surveillance video captured footage of a man setting fire to the outside of their house Saturday, July 14, 2018.

Some Lawrence residents’ home surveillance video captured footage of a man setting fire to the outside of their house this weekend.

After the residents shared that video with authorities, a suspect was arrested the following day on suspicion of aggravated arson, jail records show.

The garage door was set afire about 2:15 a.m. Saturday at 3009 Steven Drive; the residents saw it from inside and ran outside and extinguished it with a garden hose, said Paul Schneider, fire investigator with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical.

The residents reviewed their home security video and saw that it showed a man approach the house and apparently pour liquid from a small bottle onto the house and ignite it, Schneider said. Schneider said the residents called authorities, and fire investigators worked with the Lawrence Police Department to identify the man and make an arrest.

Clips from that surveillance video, obtained by the Journal-World, show a man wearing a backpack walk up to the house. After he leans down to apparently place something on the ground in front of the garage, flames erupt and he runs back down the driveway.

Arson at Lawrence house (07-14-18)

Video footage from another angle shows him hopping on a bicycle and taking off down the sidewalk.

“The video footage was pretty good; we had identifying tattoos and a clear view of the person’s body and face,” Schneider said.

The residents told investigators they didn’t know or recognize the man in the video, Schneider said. He said investigators didn’t know what the suspect’s motive may have been.

Andrew S. Hiesberger, 30, of Lawrence, was arrested Sunday at his home, according to jail records. Charges against him had not been filed in Douglas County District Court as of Monday morning.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd

COMMENTS

Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.