Man accused of throwing incendiary device at Janesville home faces 5 attempted-homicide charges in case

Jacob Piper 1280

JANESVILLE, Wis. — A Fort Atkinson man accused of throwing a lit object at a Janesville home, causing a fire that destroyed the home Thursday morning, is in custody, police said.

The Janesville Police Department said that 30-year-old Jacob M. Piper was taken into custody at about 3 p.m. Thursday and is facing multiple charges including five counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and arson.

At about 5:45 a.m., the Janesville police and fire departments responded to a fire at a home in the 200 block of South Franklin Street. Police said all five  residents were able to escape the building before it was engulfed by flames.

According to the report, witnesses told police a man was seen throwing a lit container at the front of the house. Two of the witnesses were able to identify the person who threw the incendiary device at the home’s front door, which starting the building on fire. The suspect then left the area on foot.

Piper is being held at the Rock County jail awaiting court proceedings, police said.

Fire officials said the house and its contents are considered a total loss, and damages are estimated to be around $150,000. A vehicle on the street and a neighboring house were damaged by the heat from the blaze. The neighboring house and the vehicle both sustained an estimated $5,000 in damage.

The incident is still under investigation, and police are attempting to gather more information on events that led up to this fire. Police asked the public to contact the Janesville Police Department with information at 608-757-2244, Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636, or submit an anonymous tip online using the P3 app.