Bemidji man charged for role in suspicious fire

A Bemidji man is facing charges for his alleged involvement in a suspicious fire last Friday.

According to the criminal complaint, 34-year-old Ray Parsons was reported to law enforcement that afternoon for property damage inside his mother’s home on the 2100 block of Roosevelt Rd. SE.

Deputies responded and found Parsons holding two stainless steel knives, waving them in the direction of law enforcement.

Ray Parsons, 34. Photo from Beltrami County Inmate List.

Parsons then entered the home and locked the door behind him despite deputies’ orders to stop.

Moments later, smoke was observed exiting the home.

The State Fire Marshal report indicated that Parsons intentionally set the home on fire.

Parsons is facing a second-degree arson charge and felony terroristic threats.

He made his first court appearance Monday.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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