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Kensington man tries to set neighbor's house on fire through wall

Suspect allegedly barricaded self inside home when SWAT arrived.

Police arrested a man last night after he allegedly tried to set his neighbor's home on fire by punching a hole in their party wall and stuffing a flaming paper towel through it.

The victim was inside her home on the 2000 block of East Arizona Street in Kensington when she heard her neighbor banging on the bedroom wall around 8:30 p.m. As she was lying in bed, the noise escalated and she heard something hit the floor.

She realized that someone had punched a hole about three inches in diameter in the wall, then stuck a flashlight casing through it with a smoldering paper towel stuffed inside.

When the victim called 911, the suspect, Thomas Stierle, 35, barricaded himself inside his home, police said. SWAT responded and, after about an hour, were able to convince him to come outside.

Stierle was arrested and is charged with arson and related offenses.

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