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Greenfield man charged with arson says “he did not want to hurt anyone”

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Mitchell Krenz

MILWAUKEE — 26-year-old Mitchell Krenz of Greenfield is now charged in connection with a fire that was intentionally set in a home near 46th and Bottsford on Monday night, July 10th.

Krenz faces the following criminal charges:

  • Arson of building
  • First degree recklessly endangering safety (2 counts)

Greenfield firefighters were called to the home around 7:00 p.m. on Monday. Officials arrived on the scene to find an intense fire burning inside the structure.

Arson at 46th & Bottsford, Greenfield

According to the criminal complaint, Krenz’s mother and her granddaughter were in the home at the time the fire was started. They managed to get outside to safety — and were not hurt.

When questioned by an officer, Krenz told the officer “he had intentionally set the fire by pouring gasoline in the basement and other parts of the home.” The officer noted Krenz “appeared to be smirking, without any emotion, and smelled of gasoline.”

Arson at 46th & Bottsford, Greenfield

The complaint says Krenz “immediately took responsibility for burning the residence and described in detail how he had to chase down his two cats, Merlon and Skittish, and put them inside a suitcase outside the house before he poured the gasoline he had purchased all around the basement floor.” The complaint says Krenz intended to get his mother and her granddaughter out of the house  before starting the fire, “but before he left the basement the gasoline ignited near the water heater.”

Krenz told police “he did not want to hurt anyone.” The complaint says he indicated “his goal was to get his mother out of the house, to help her into getting a better living situation.”

Arson at 46th & Bottsford, Greenfield

Krenz was in court on Thursday, July 13th. The court ordered him to be examined by the Forensic Unit after defense indicated “there is reason to believe the defendant is not competent to proceed.” The doctor’s report on Krenz is due back on August 3rd.

If convicted of the arson charge, Krenz faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. The other charges come with a maximum 12-and-a-half years in prison and $25,000 in fines.