St. Charles County man accused of setting garage fire

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A St. Charles County man has been charged with arson for allegedly setting a fire in a garage over the weekend.

According to the St. Charles County Police Department’s probable cause statement, the fire was set shortly before 12:40 p.m. on March 16. The statement did not list an address for the scene of the crime.

Police claim Tyler J. Martin (age not provided) pulled up in front of a home driving a white Honda CRV and exited the vehicle. Surveillance video from the homeowner shows Martin carry a red bucket into the garage, put the bucket down, and use a lighter in an attempt to light the contents of the bucket ablaze.

When lighter ignites inside the bucket, flames strike Martin and the rest of the garage. Martin can be scene running from the garage toward the Honda CRV and driving away.

Three adults and two juveniles were inside the home at the time of the fire.

Police claim a Flock camera along St. Peters Howell Road near the scene of the fire recorded the Honda CRV just after 12:40 p.m. Investigators traced the license plates on the vehicle to a home in the 3200 block of St. Joan Drive.

Missing Missouri student: Officials focusing search efforts on Cheatham Dam

Officers met with Martin at that residence. He told police he’d borrowed the CRV from a friend but admitted to driving the vehicle to the scene of the fire. However, Martin denied setting the fire, and said to the home to look for an acquaintance, but didn’t find him.

Police claim Martin’s eyebrows were charred and his hands were bright red. Police asked Martin if he owned the clothes seen in the surveillance video, and Martin said they were in the basement. His clothes could not be found.

Investigators were told by someone at the home that Martin had thrown the clothes away. A neighbor on St. Joan Drive told police he found a burn pit behind his home and saw Martin toss a baseball cap into the firepit. Police believe he wore that cap when setting the garage fire.

The St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Martin with first-degree arson and first-degree burglary. He was jailed on a $150,000 cash-only bond. Martin will be due back in court at the end of the week for a bond hearing.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to FOX 2.