Plymouth man convicted of torching own house so he could make homeowners insurance claim

A Plymouth man could spend life in prison for starting his own house on fire as part of an insurance fraud ploy.

Patrick Nolan, 42, started his home on fire on Jan. 1, 2019, before claiming the damage on his insurance policy. He was found guilty by a jury of arson of an insured dwelling and second-degree arson.

The first charge carries a potential life sentence, and each count could also include a fine of $20,000 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater.  

According to Attorney General Dana Nessel's office, investigators found that the fire started in three unconnected areas of the home - a bedroom, a basement storage room, and a hall at the top of the basement stairs. Gasoline was also found around the home, and it was determined the fire was caused by a person.

The infotainment system in Nolan's truck showed he was parked at the home less than two hours before the fire was reported by a neighbor. 

"Every arson represents another instance where our firefighters and first responders risk their lives to protect public safety, and that’s an unacceptable danger to our communities," Nessel said.

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