Police: Man burned down farmhouse to impress a woman

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Police say a Grandin, North Dakota, man accused of burning down a rural farmhouse did it to impress a woman, Forum News Service reports.

Court documents show Fredrick Bohjanen Jr. is charged with arson, among other felonies, the paper says.

Authorities were originally tracking a string of stolen batteries from around the area, Forum reports. Witnesses in that investigation told deputies that Bohjanen Jr. was planning to sell the batteries to buy marijuana, and that he was responsible for a blaze at a farmhouse.

According to the paper, Bohjanen Jr. was with two women at a different farmhouse in Erie, North Dakota, when one of the women asked him to burn down a house. The three drove outside the unincorporated community to another farmhouse, where Bohjanen Jr. set the property on fire; the group then drove about a mile away to watch.

Forum reports Bohjanen Jr. admitted they had been drinking. His first court appearance has not been set.

Grandin is about an hour southwest of Crookston, Minnesota, about 12 miles from the North Dakota-Minnesota border.

This is not the first time a young man has used fire to try to win the heart of a woman.

Earlier this year, an 18-year-old West Fargo high school student called 911 and falsely reported fires in order to get a date. The girl had told him she'd go out with him if he could get her dance line practice at a community center canceled.

Having found no fire, police and fire crews traced the calls, eventually finding the 18-year-old. Police were not amused.

“To have resources tied up on false calls is depriving those resources of potential other, real emergencies, and may make the difference of a house that burns or somebody being seriously injured.” West Fargo Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan said at the time.

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