80-year-old man charged with arson in multi-unit Arlington Heights apartment fire

  • An early morning fire in an apartment complex on the 400 block of Rand Road in Arlington Heights on Friday displaced dozens and damaged six units, according to police.

      An early morning fire in an apartment complex on the 400 block of Rand Road in Arlington Heights on Friday displaced dozens and damaged six units, according to police. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/10/2022 5:26 PM

Authorities charged an 80-year-old man with aggravated arson, accusing him of setting a fire early Friday that damaged a multiunit apartment complex on the 400 block of Rand Road in Arlington Heights.

Paul C. Strusiner, who police say lived in the 96-unit complex, is charged with the felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

 

Police said Strusiner made incriminating comments to firefighters, including a statement "that he intentionally started a fire in his apartment."

He has been hospitalized since Friday for reasons unrelated to the fire, police said.

Six apartments were damaged by the fire, including the unit leased by Strusiner, police said. All six remain uninhabitable.

The fire broke out about 12:20 a.m. Friday, according to authorities who say it originated in a first-floor unit of the four-story building.

Heavy smoke and fire prevented police officers from entering the unit where the blaze began, according to police. Officers and firefighters evacuated 95 apartments, whose residents vacated the building without any reported injuries, police said.

A bond hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

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