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Man charged with arson in Ottumwa porch fire

Ottumwa police officers responded to the porch fire in the 700 block of Ellis Avenue Sunday night/KTVO

An Ottumwa man is now facing a felony charge after police say he intentionally set fire to a pile of garbage on a local preacher's front porch.

Kerry Allan Brown, 47, was arrested at his home on East Williams Street on Sunday night. He is charged with First-Degree Arson, a Class B felony.

Ottumwa police officers responded to the fire in the 700 block of Ellis Avenue around 9 p.m. Sunday.

Once crews put out the flames, investigators searched the garbage and found confidential documents belonging to Brown. Arresting officers said Brown later admitted to placing garbage on the porch and lighting it on fire before he fled the scene.

Ottumwa Deputy Fire Chief Cory Benge said the house is connected to the First Church of the Nazarene and belongs to the church's pastor. He estimated about $5,000 worth of damage to the siding of the house.

If convicted as charged, Brown could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

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