Sioux Falls, SD – Sprinkler system keeps arson fire set outside building from spreading inside

Police have arrested a man in connection to a fire that destroyed two porta potties in downtown Sioux Falls.  Forty-eight-year-old Aaron Gruenewald was arrested Thursday morning.  Firefighters extinguished a blaze at the new Washington Square Complex early Thursday morning. No one was hurt, but two porta potties were destroyed.

Police say surveillance video showed a man walking into one of the porta potties, then the fire broke out shortly after he walked away.  Gruenewald was found a few blocks away. Police say he had a lighter in his possession. He faces one count of reckless burning and intentional damage to property.

Original Story

No one was hurt, but two porta potties were destroyed in an overnight fire in downtown Sioux Falls.  The fire broke out around 1:20 a.m. at the new Washington Square complex on Main Avenue.  According to Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, a porta potty near the entrance to the first floor garage caught fire. The building’s sprinkler system was able to stop the flames from spreading. Firefighters put out the blaze a few minutes after arriving.  No one was hurt in the fire. The fire triggered the building’s alarm system, and residents had to wait outside on a rainy night for about 15 minutes.

Firefighters did not find any damage to the building, though two porta potties were destroyed.  The cause is still under investigation.

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