(STMW) — A Rogers Park man is behind bars after allegedly setting fire to his own apartment building as residents in the 39-unit building slept Thursday morning.
Cook County prosecutors on Saturday said 52-year-old Thomas Gatch was caught on surveillance video setting fire to an area between the second and third floor of his building in the 6800 block of North Ashland about 2:20 a.m., the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
The building has 39 units, with 60 residents, prosecutors said.
Gatch was caught on tape lighting a paper bag on fire and leaving it ablaze in a corner stairwell, prosecutors said.
He then went back to his third floor apartment, where police located him, as well as the clothes he was wearing at the time of the arson.
Firefighters put out the blaze quickly and no one was injured.
Gatch is charged with aggravated arson.
Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesel ordered Gatch held in lieu of $250,000 bail Saturday, calling him “a threat to himself and others.”
“Many people were at risk,” she said.
Gatch’s assistant public defender said he is a veteran of the Air Force.
He had no criminal history.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)