Ansonia Man Charged With Arson

An Ansonia man is accused of setting his house on fire with heating oil on Monday and has been charged with arson.

Police said several 911 calls came in just after 4 p.m. on Monday about a fire at 3 Marshall Lane and firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from the back of the house.

Firefighters forced their way inside, put out the fire and noticed slippery, oily spots in the floor in several areas of the house, according to police.

The fire department also noticed the smell of diesel fuel or home heating oil and found at least four separate places where the fire started, police said.

Then they found a plastic five-gallon bucket filled with what appeared to be home heating oil in a bedroom.

While investigating in the garage, they noticed something strange.

The oil tank had a hole that appeared to have been drilled into it and a power drill was near the tank.

Investigators spoke with a witness, who reported arriving around 4 p.m. and spotting Steven Weidler, a resident, inside with oil pouring out of the oil tank and spilling all over the garage floor, police said.

Weidler was covered in oil and told the witness he spilled oil and to leave the house, police said.

The witness, who was one of the people to call 911, reported that the house smelled like oil and oil was all over the kitchen floor, the refrigerator, countertops and kitchen sink, police said.

Weidler's dog was loose, so the witness went after the dog and returned to find smoke coming from the back of the house and Weidler leaving, police said.

Officers then began looking for Weidler and found him walking down a street. When they found him, he smelled of petroleum and his clothes were covered in liquid, police said.

Officers took Weidler into custody and charged him with first-degree arson and second-degree reckless endangerment.

Bond was set at $100,000 bond and he is due in court on April 12.

It’s not clear if he has an attorney.

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