A Collinsville man faces a felony after police said he set a house on fire after a fight with his girlfriend.
Nicholas Recklein, 24, was charged Monday by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly with aggravated arson.
“ … Recklein allegedly, while committing an arson, knowingly partially damaged a porch of Walter Sins, located at 405 Conniston, Belleville, St. Clair County, Illinois, knowing that Kelsey Hass was present therein,” the charges stated.
Villa Hills Fire Department notified the St. Clair Sheriff’s Department at 9 p.m. on Friday that they had extinguished a fire on the front porch of the home on Conniston Drive near Belleville, said Capt. Scott Weymouth with the sheriff’s department. The firefighters told the sheriff’s deputy that the fire appeared to have been set.
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“They could smell the gasoline,” Weymouth said.
Deputies learned about a dispute between Recklein and his girlfriend, a 25-year-old woman who did not live at the home on Conniston. After calling the Illinois State Fire Marshal, deputies were called to a disturbance on nearby Cascade Drive and located Recklein. He was taken into custody. Illinois State Deputy Fire Marshal Greg Vespa investigated the case.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal did not immediately have a comment on the cause of the fire or the investigation on Monday afternoon.
No one was hurt, Weymouth said.
Recklein remains in St. Clair County Jail on Monday. He was being held on a $250,000 bail.
If convicted, Recklein, who does not have a felony conviction on his record, could face between six and 30 years.