Heated Breakup Led to Arson at Apartment Building, Police Say
A fire that briefly trapped some residents and injured six people as it destroyed most of an apartment building in southeastern Wisconsin was set, authorities say, by a woman seeking revenge after an ugly breakup with her boyfriend. Trisha Krueger, 28, of Watertown, Wis., faces 100 years in prison if convicted on the charge of arson along with six counts of reckless endangerment, after allegedly setting fire Saturday night to the apartment there that she shared with her ex-boyfriend, Jacob J. Verriden, and his two young daughters, reported the Watertown Daily Times. Authorities say that Krueger confessed to setting the blaze to "hurt Verriden back."
Krueger is also accused of disorderly conduct and battery after allegedly putting a stranglehold on Verriden as he slept Friday. He showed officers a text message purportedly sent to him by Krueger early Sunday that included the statement "you will burn." Krueger was supposed to move out of the six-unit building on Monday, Verriden reportedly told police, after a contentious couple of weeks in which she's said to have threatened him several times. The Daily Times quoted the criminal complaint as saying that Krueger "snapped" after being asked to leave a bar where she'd confronted her ex-boyfriend, then started the blaze because "she needed a release."
As described in the video from Milwaukee station WISN above, Verriden and other residents, some of whom jumped from the building's second floor, were lucky to escape with their lives. Some lost all their possessions, though, and WMTV in Madison reported that none of them had renters insurance.
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