MPD investigating arson at city’s tiny home encampment; 1 cabin destroyed

MADISON, Wis. — Madison police are searching for a man believed to be responsible for setting fire to his cabin in the city’s tiny home encampment Tuesday afternoon.

Officers and firefighters responded to the encampment on the city’s southeast side — which is directly across from Fire Station 14 — around 1:15 p.m.

When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke; by the time crews reached the site, the cabin had completely burned down. Staff at the site reportedly said the structure burned very quickly.

A spokesperson with the Madison Police Department said authorities were able to identify the suspect, who is a resident at the encampment, thanks to security cameras at the site. He had not been taken into custody as of 3:45 p.m.

Lt. Jason Ostrenga with MPD said encampment staff were planning to temporarily ban the man from the encampment for unknown reasons, and when they approached the man to let him know, he walked away. Lt. Ostrenga said witnesses at the site saw the man throwing wood into the cabin before walking away. The cabin went up in flames shortly after, he said.

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No one was injured and no other cabins were damaged by the fire.

According to the Madison Fire Department, the blaze caused an estimated $15,500 in damage. Investigators were still working to determine the exact cause of the fire as of Tuesday afternoon.

MPD officials said they’re investigating the incident as arson.