ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A man is accused of using a torch and propane tank to set a woman’s north St. Louis County home on fire earlier this month.
Prosecutors have charged Ryan Howerton, 41, with one count of first-degree arson in the investigation. Howerton allegedly set a woman’s home on fire on Aug. 10 in the 8500 block of Katherine Avenue.
According to court documents obtained by FOX 2, the victim was home in the afternoon hours when she heard a strange crackling and popping noise. She noticed smoke through the windows on one side of her home. She looked out and noticed someone was setting her house on fire.
The victim rushed out of the home with some belongings, called police on the situation, and drove a short distance away from her home in a car. As police arrived to the scene, they noticed a man, later identified as Howerton, walking from the side of a neighboring house.
The victim and other witnesses identified Howerton as the suspect, leading to his arrest. Shortly after he was detained, police found a propane tank and a torch connected to the arson.
The house was severely burned and is currently deemed uninhabitable, per court documents.
The St. Louis County Police Department is handling this investigation. Howerton is currently jailed on a $150,000 cash-only bond.