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Oakdale man sets fire to his house and kills five of his approximately 12 cats


A 42-year-old man set fire to his home in Oakdale, where firefighters located five dead cats among the approximately 12 who lived there, according to criminal charges.

Joshua L. Buhl was charged in Washington County District Court on Tuesday with first-degree arson and five counts of animal cruelty in connection with his starting the fire on Sunday. evening in the 1100 block of Grenada Avenue.

Buhl appeared in court on Tuesday and remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bond. He is due back in court on February 16. Court records do not mention a lawyer for him.

According to the criminal complaint:

Responding to 911 calls from neighbors, police arrived and saw Buhl standing outside his home holding a lighter.

“I started the fire,” they said according to the charges. He said he felt like he was under the influence of methamphetamine and mentioned that there might be narcotics in his pocket.

Police arrested him once he “started behaving erratically”, according to the charges.

Firefighters extinguished the flames and identified the living room as the main burn area. Firefighters found a can of gasoline in the house and found that the front door was barricaded.

Authorities recovered several surviving cats, which were turned over to animal control officials, but other cats were found dead.

In a later interview with police, Buhl admitted to starting the fire with gasoline and cardboard in order to get law enforcement attention. He said he believed hackers were out to catch him and that a relative stole his identity.

He said there were about 12 cats living in the house and he didn’t believe they would die in the fire. A search of the house on Monday revealed five dead cats.

startribune Gt Itly

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