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New details about Diagonal Road arson

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news Worthington, 56187

Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

WORTHINGTON -- After being arrested on Saturday for allegedly setting fire to his Diagonal Road home, the terms of bail have been set for Tex Peterson, a 58-year-old Worthington resident.

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The Worthington Police Department and Worthington Fire Department responded to the fire call at 3:09 p.m. Saturday.

In his statement of probable cause, Officer Mark Riley reported that Peterson was the owner of the home and lived there with his girlfriend, Lori Underwood. Riley observed Underwood and Peterson yelling at each other about who was to blame for the fire and heard Underwood say multiple times, "I can't believe you did this."

Fire Chief Rick von Holdt confirmed that there were two people in the home when the fire started in the bedroom. Firefighters were able to quickly get the blaze under control.

"We were there probably a half hour to 45 minutes," said Von Holdt, adding that the fire did minimal damage to the home. "It was kind of contained to the bedroom -- a little bit of smoke damage and water damage -- but it was mostly contained to the bedroom."

Underwood told Riley that Peterson had been having difficulty paying the mortgage of the home, and that on Saturday, she and Peterson had argued about the mortgage. Peterson then lit a candle and placed it against the pillow on the bed.

Officer Riley also reported that Peterson smelled of alcohol, and Peterson later tested for a .16 breath alcohol content.

Peterson is being represented by attorney Kimberly Pehrson and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a hearing.

Daily Globe reporter Alyson Buschena may be reached at 376-7322.

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