Horicon Man Appears On Arson Charge

(Horicon) A Horicon man facing charges for allegedly attempting to set fire to a building he was renting to a family member made his initial appearance in court Monday. Michael Hansen is facing a felony count of Arson of a Building with Intent to Defraud. Hansen owned the property at 412 West Lake Street in Horicon that was damaged by fire on July 6 of 2016. The home was being rented out to his son. Nearby witnesses reportedly observed Hansen at the property roughly 15 to 20 minutes before the blaze started. One neighbor allegedly said that Hansen told him that his kid and girlfriend wrecked the house and that he could always burn it down and get the insurance money. When questioned, Hansen said his son had not paid him rent in over a year and that he did not enter the home the day of the fire. Hansen later changed his story, reportedly admitting to going in for about five minutes and also checking the utility room. The investigation revealed that the fire originated in the utility room and that its cause was classified as incendiary. If convicted, the 69-year-old could face no more than 40 years in prison. Signature bond was set at $1,000 and a judge will decide next month if there is enough evidence to order a trial.