KEARNEY — Accused of setting fire to the steps of his apartment house, a Kearney man is facing a felony arson charge.

Robert S. Thormodsgard, 57, of Kearney is charged in Buffalo County Court with felony arson for a June 16 incident at 916 W. 24th St. No. 3.

He was arrested Thursday on a Buffalo County warrant.

Around 4:22 a.m. June 16 Kearney Police Department officers were called to the apartment house for a report of the smell of smoke coming from apartment No. 3, which belonged to Thormodsgard. There had been several fires in the entryway during the past year, Thormodsgard said, and the entry door at the top of the stairs couldn’t be secured.

He believed people were starting the fires, records indicate.

KPD and a Nebraska Fire Marshal investigated the incident and found numerous spots on the wooden stairs where it appeared a lighter had been held to the steps. A set of wooden closet doors in the entryway of the apartment house also appeared to have burn marks, according to the report.

On Jan. 10, Thormodsgard was interviewed by KPD. Records show that Thormodsgard was concerned about his safety and allegedly believed starting fires would make his landlord put a secure door at the top of the stairs.

A warrant was issued Tuesday for Thormodsgard.

He remained at the Buffalo County Jail on Friday on a $15,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court in February.

@HubChic