Prosecutors: New Berlin man admits to setting 5 fires, 3 at his neighbor’s home
MUSKEGO — A New Berlin man is facing arson charges in connection with five incidents dating back to March in Muskego and New Berlin — three of them at his neighbor’s home.
31-year-old Adam Erickson faces three counts of arson of a building without the owner’s consent, and two counts of arson of property other than a building.
The alleged incidents occurred as follows:
- March 24th: Linnie Lac Place, New Berlin
- May 5th: Martin Drive, Muskego
- May 16th: Linnie Lac Place, New Berlin
- May 19th: Linnie Lac Place, New Berlin
- May 26th: Martin Drive, Muskego
Muskego police said the fires on Martin Drive occurred at the Reynolds Machine Company property. According to police, Erickson was observed by witnesses leaving the Reynolds property. He was arrested in Muskego Municipal Park, Park Arthur, adjacent to the Reynolds property.
He was questioned by detectives from Muskego and New Berlin, and police say he admitted to setting two buildings (a warehouse and an office building) on the Reynolds property on fire on May 26th, along with setting fire to a third building on the property on May 5th. The complaint says he told investigators he “was not thinking clearly” and he was “taking medications that may have something to do with it.”
He was located on the property on May 26th, after the most recent fire there, according to the complaint, along with two other men. The men told investigators Erickson told them: “Tell them I was with you.”
Erickson also admitted to setting the three fires in New Berlin, police said. Each took place at the same home on Linne Lac Place — next door to where Erickson lives. One involved an RV in a backyard, which the resident noted to be fully engulfed in flames on its rear portion on March 24th. A neighbor put out the fire on May 16th at the home, “probably saving” a garage and boat, the complaint says. On May 19th, officials were called out for a fire involving the residents’ vehicles and garage.
The complaint notes that Erickson’s mother told investigators during the May 19th fire in New Berlin, she was woken up by her son, who said: “Wanna come see what’s going on?” She then noticed their neighbor’s home was on fire. Adam Erickson told investigators he was in his bedroom when he woke up and saw the flames, and went to wake up his mother. The complaint notes that Erickson “was acting very suspiciously and appeared to be extremely nervous.”
When admitting to the New Berlin fires, prosecutors say Erickson said “he was bored.” As for the New Berlin fire involving the vehicle and garage on May 19th, the complaint states that Erickson said he lit a pile of leaves on fire, and “did not mean to light the whole garage, house and vehicles on fire.” He said after he lit the fire he “went home to watch.”
Prosecutors say on Erickson’s computer, they found photos and video of the May 19th fire in New Berlin, and various places in Park Arthur in Muskego, in a folder labeled May 17th.
Erickson made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday, May 30th. Cash bond was set at $250,000.
According to police, a second suspect has been identified in the May 5th fire, which occurred in the kitchen area of a residence associated with Reynolds in Muksego, which was believed abandoned after the business ceased operations. Investigators noted three areas of fire origin inside the structure.
That second suspect is wanted.