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State Police find, arrest man in Wisconsin who is a suspect in 2011 arson in Burlington

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BURLINGTON–Almost exactly five years after Sate Police determined that a fire set to a Burlington home was arson, a man has been arrested and charged with the crime.

On July 5, 2011, the Western District Major Crime Unit responded to a Patridge Lane, Burlington home after firefighters found evidence that accelerants were used at both front entrances and both garage doors of the home.

When the fire started around 4:20 a.m., the homeowners and their 18-year-old son were home.

The case remained cold for two years, until a former acquaintance of the son contacted him in September 2013. The acquaintance, Andrew VanNoordennen, who is now 26, contacted the victim on Facebook and confessed that he was the one who tried to burn the victim’s family’s house down. He had apparently just had surgery.

“Phil. My bowels aren’t working yet. I can only eat ice chips. Half my hydration is from IV with sugar water. My pain and breathing is not so good. I am very sorry I am the one who tried to burn your house down. I don’t want to die with that secret. I am very sorry.”

When the victim replied asking why he’d set fire to the home, VanNoordennen responded: “Not sure why. I thought vengeance as ok back then. I thought I was a bad guy. I hadn’t seen you in so long and imagined you being much happier and more normal than me. I was very lonely throughout high school and I blamed you for it even though it wasn’t your fault. If u want to tell other people or call the police on me I can’t really blame you.”

He then added, “Well at least I didn’t hurt anyone except for burning myself a little. And I never tried to kill after that. I dunno. If u just never want to talk to me again it’s fine. I’m not sure if u want to do anything with this information. Up to you.”

The victim told VanNoordennen that he’d tell his mother about the conversation.

Police had trouble contacting VanNoordennen after that, as he’d deactivated his Facebook. Officers determined that he had already fled the state to avoid arrest for several other unrelated crimes.

He apparently spent several years living “on the lam” in California and Wisconsin, State Police say, until detectives tracked him down to his Wisconsin home in March 2016. Kenosha, Wisconsin police arrested VanNoordennen and charged him as a fugitive from justice due to several outstanding warrants from Connecticut.

State Police traveled to Wisconsin in March to bring VanNoordennen back for those other unrelated warrants.

The investigation continued, and police finally found files from CVS showing that VanNoordennen had filled a prescription for burn cream a few weeks after the arson for six burns on his hands and wrists. Medical records indicated he told doctors he’d gotten the injuries on July 5 around 2 a.m. from fireworks. That is the same night, and just two hours before the victims woke up to their home filled with smoke.

Based on the investigation, State Police got a warrant for VanNoordennen in the case, and on July 15 he was charged with arson in the first degree.

He is being held on $750,000 bond.