SIOUX CITY — A man who told police he set a fire that left several people without a home because he was bored has pleaded not guilty to arson.
Robert Mahoney, 51, of Sioux City, entered his written plea Tuesday in Woodbury County District Court to one count of first-degree arson.
Two people were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and one of them was later transported to a Lincoln, Nebraska, burn center after the Feb. 4 fire damaged several units at Central Apartments, 613 11th St. Nearly two dozen residents were unable to return to their homes after the fire was extinguished.
According to court documents, Mahoney told police he was bored and started lighting papers on fire inside his apartment using an aerosol can of bug spray and a lighter. Once the initial fire went out, Mahoney told investigators he saturated a table full of papers with bug spray and lit it on fire, court documents said.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, smoke was coming out of Mahoney’s apartment and had consumed the first floor of the two-story structure.