Chesterfield man accused of setting family home ablaze

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CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – A 19-year-old Chesterfield man is accused of setting his family home on fire with family members still in the house.

Days passed before anyone knew the fire was no accident, Chesterfield police said.

Dominic Knobel was charged with first-degree arson. Surveillance video shows him setting the fire at the home on Forestvale Drive on Saturday night, police said.

“A couple of days later, one of the residents of the house contacted our department,” Chesterfield Police Sergeant Keith Rider said. “They have security video around the house. They were able to salvage the security video. They realized immediately it was their son who set fire to the house.”

Police did not release the video but said it showed him setting the fire, then walking around the house and even looking inside but making no attempt to warn his family. There were three people in the house, including his mother and stepfather.

“They were lucky to get everybody out, all the people and the pets as well,” Sgt. Rider said. “This was because he had an argument with his family and that’s how he acted out his aggression.”

He did not say what led to the argument.

Knobel’s bond is set at $100,000 cash only. He is to have no contact with the victims.

He has admitted to the crime, according to a court document. He faces 5 to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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