Rantoul house fire ruled an arson

RANTOUL — Fire investigators are terming a blaze that heavily damaged a Rantoul home last week arson.

The residence at 1180 Bel Air Drive that had been rented by Michael Mounts sustained an estimated $60,000 damage, including $15,000 damage to contents during the early morning hours of June 10.

Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Kaiser, who is a fire and arson investigator, said the fire department strongly suspected that the fire had been set, so they asked that a fire marshal be brought in. The fire marshal brought in a dog, and it was confirmed as arson.

"We knew that based on there was more than one fire and the guy who was renting it was locked up in the Ford County Jail" at the time of the fire, that it had been set, Kaiser said.

"I think we're all in agreement that it was a set fire based on the evidence that we collected."

Mounts had been held in the Ford County Jail in Paxton for four days prior to the fire. He was being held there for failure to appear in court on charges of driving under the influence and failure to pay child support.

Bond is set at $5,000 on the DUI charge and $250 on the child support charge. He was still being held there Monday evening.

No injuries were reported in the fire.

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