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Police: St. Cloud Man Accused Of Causing $100K Damage In Apt. Arson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- St. Cloud police say they arrested a 26-year-old man after he allegedly set fire to a 30-unit apartment building early Tuesday morning.

At 12:39 a.m. Tuesday, a police officer was investigating an unrelated case in the parking lot of an apartment building, located on 1609 7th St. SE, when he saw a suspicious man run from the east side of the building.

According to police, when the police officer attempted to stop the man, he resisted and tried fleeing. He was subdued, however, and taken into custody. He was then identified as Samuel Benedict Davis of St. Cloud.

Shortly after, officers noticed smoke coming from the apartment building. It was then determined that a ground-level apartment unit on the east side of the building was on fire, so officers evacuated the building. No one was injured.

After the fire was extinguished, it was determined the building sustained an estimated $100,000 in damage, primarily located in the apartment unit where the fire originated. Two units above that apartment unit sustained minimal damage from smoke and water.

Police believe Davis intentionally started the fire and it is believed that he has ties to that unit. He was taken to Benton County Jail where he's being held on first-degree arson and obstructing legal process.

The investigation is ongoing.

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