Man arrested for attempted murder after fire in home near Bemidji

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BEMIDJI, Minn. -- A 20-year-old Bemidji man was arrested Monday night after allegedly setting fire to a home near Bemidji.

According to a news release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and the Bemidji Fire Department responded to a fire at the 700 block of Sunset Way at about 10:22 p.m., and found flames and heavy smoke coming from the lower level of the home.

All of the home’s occupants escaped, the release said. While on the scene, deputies noticed one of the occupants acting “odd and erratic,” and confronted him before taking him into custody “for his safety.”

Damian Smith was arrested after law enforcement interviewed witnesses, and is currently being held in the Beltrami County Jail on suspicion of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree arson and obstruction of the legal process.

The fire remains under investigation.