Cheyenne Man Accused of Setting Fire to Vacant Building
A 43-year-old Cheyenne man could face up to 15 years in prison after allegedly setting fire to a vacant used computer store east of Cheyenne.
According to an affidavit, the fire department was called to Tatooine Electronics Systems on the I-80 Service Road shortly after midnight on April 20.
Fire personnel told an arson investigator that they'd been in contact with Shawn Christensen who had reportedly been living on the property in his RV and cleaning it up in the hopes of taking possession of it.
When authorities tracked Christensen down at this dad's house later that morning, he told them he thought someone was in the building around 11 p.m. the night before, so he lit a piece of paper on fire so he could see to investigate.
When the fire spread to some Styrofoam, Christensen said he tried to put it out by throwing a wood pallet on it. He also tried to smother the fire with an empty box and threw metal cabinets on it, but the fire only grew in size.
Christensen said everything was catching on fire, so he tied an electrical chord around the front bumper of his RV and his pickup and pulled his camper forward enough to push it out toward the service road with his truck.
When asked why he didn't call for help, Christensen said his cell phone was dead. He said he was going to call 911 when he got to his dad's house, but fell asleep.
When a detective asked Christensen if anyone had ever asked him to clean the property up he said "no." Christensen also said he didn't have any insurance policy on the property or benefit from the fire.
Christensen was charged with third-degree arson and burglary and is currently being held in the Laramie County Jail on $10,000 cash bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 28.