Elk Grove Man Lights Propane Canisters on Fire in His Room During Argument With Roommate

SACRAMENTO -- Charred shoes and mangled window panes remained outside an Elk Grove home on Valley Oak Lane Wednesday.

They were a reminder of the suspected arson that took place there Tuesday afternoon.

"Why would anybody want to burn down a house?" said neighbor Jerry Rhoads.

Police say 37-year-old Shawn Viramontes got into an argument with his roommate and threatened to set their house on fire.

"He retreated the room, closed his door and the smoke and, obviously, that was an indication to the people inside that residence that there was, indeed, a fire started," said Elk Grove Police Officer Jason Jimenez.

The roommate’s parents told FOX40 the argument started when their son confronted Viramontes about his belongings going missing. He believed Viramontes stole from him and told the suspect he needed to move out.

That’s when they say Viramontes locked himself in his room, lit propane canisters on fire and jumped out the window before they exploded.

"And had fled on foot. Our officers quickly arrived in the area, established a perimeter and with the assistance of an air unit, we did locate the suspect shortly thereafter," Jimenez said.

They caught up with Viramontes near the intersection of El Oro Plaza and Emerald Park drives, putting an elementary school on lockdown in the meantime.

Police arrested him on charges of attempted homicide, arson and criminal threats.

"Why put everybody in danger though, for a simple fight?" Rhoads questioned.

Neighbors were left hoping Viramontes does not come back to their quiet street.

"We don’t want that type of crap in our neighborhood," Rhoads said.

Viramontes is being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail and was not given the option of bail. He is due in court Thursday afternoon.

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