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WJBD - Local News - Centralia Man Arrested For Allegedly Setting His Home On Fire After Police Refused To Shoot Him

Shawn Reichenbach. Photo by MCSD.

Centralia Man Arrested For Allegedly Setting His Home On Fire After Police Refused To Shoot Him

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD news

A 47-year-old Centralia man is being held in the Marion County Jail on charges of arson, resisting arrest, and aggravated battery to a police officer. Centralia Police say Shawn Reichenbach of 902 Chipwood Lane off Raccoon Lake carried through on a threat late Sunday afternoon to set the house on fire after screaming at police arriving on the scene to 'shoot him'.

Centralia City Firemen were able to confine the fire to a large open living room area, but there was smoke and heat damage throughout the home. Reichenbach had initially stayed in the home after allegedly setting it on fire, but eventually came out.  He was taken into custody after once again challenging police to shoot him.

Police had originally gone to the residence owned by Reichenbach's mother, Judy McIntire, after receiving a call that her son was out of control and was tearing up the home. Both McIntire and Reichenbach's wife Karen were already outside the home. Reichenbach reportedly come out of the house with a can of ether lighter and an oxygen bottle under his arm. Police say Reichenbach used the spray can to shoot a ball of fire before going back inside. They later saw Reichenbach light something on fire. A large flame followed in seconds and Reichenbach was seen throwing an oxygen tank on the fire.

The officers backed away from the house as smoke became thicker and they heard popping sounds and small explosions inside. After exiting through the back door of the house, Reichenbach refused to obey police commands. He allegedly repeated requests for the officers to shoot him and said he had something for them in his waistband. When they responded they weren't going to shoot him and to stop acting stupid, Reichenbach reportedly calmed down and police were able to handcuff him.

Later at the Centralia Police Station when Reichenbach was told he was going to be arrested for arson, he allegedly replied he wasn't going to jail and began kicking and flailing his arms. Police were eventually able to administer pepper spray, which slowed Reichenbach enough so they could bring him back under control. As a result of the outburst, charges of resisting arrest and aggravated battery to a police officer were added to the original charges.

Centralia Firemen called in all available firemen to fight the fire and said they had a quick knockdown. Firemen were able to rescue a small dog still inside the home. The State Fire Marshall's office was called in to assist in the investigation. It is believed an aerosal can of fluid and a cigarette lighter was used to start the fire near the couch in the center of the large open room. Damage is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. 

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