Mexico Man Charged With Arson in Connection to Fire at Nu-Tone Cleaners Building

A Mexico man is charged with arson after police said he intentionally started an apartment fire at the Nu-Tone Cleaners building in Mexico on Saturday, February 3rd.

According to a press release from Mexico Public Safety 42-year-old James Schade is charged with arson in the first degree and armed criminal action.

He was a resident of one of the apartments.

Two cats and a dog died in the fire and multiple residents were displaced.

Officers responded to a heavy fire in the 400 block of West Monroe Street on Saturday where flames were coming from the upper level of the building containing eight apartments and a laundromat.

The building is now uninhabitable due to fire, smoke, and water damage.

Investigators determined the fire started on the stove of Schade’s apartment.

According to the probable cause statement video evidence showed Schade pacing outside the apartment with his dogs for 26 minutes and then leaving 15 minutes prior to smoke showing from the building.

He was also allegedly seen on video recovering a large bag of belongings that were hidden near the scene.

Officers later learned that Schade had been evicted and was due out of his apartment on the day of the fire.

Schade allegedly admitted to intentionally setting the fire by leaving a bag of chicken on the stove.

According to court documents Schade stated he planned the fire due to being evicted and hoped that if his apartment burned, it would be easier for him to find a new home.

Schade had been staying in Columbia since the fire, and was arrested on Wednesday afternoon by Columbia Police.

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