Arson charges filed in Mr. D’s fire

Arson charges filed in Mr. D’s fire

Springer, Dan

A man was charged with arson Thursday after police said he admitted starting a fire at the LaCrosse restaurant where he worked so, he claimed, he would not be blamed for an earlier kitchen fire.

Christopher M. Norling, 37, is accused of starting at least one of two fires early Sunday at Mr. D’s Restaurant and Bakery, 1146 State St.

Norling, who was working alone at the time, told -police he started a fire by the dining area display case but was not trying to burn the restaurant down.

He said after a fire started in the kitchen area near a donut fryer, burning some donut boxes, he was worried he would be blamed, according to the complaint. So he set fire to some donut boxes behind the display case, then doused the flames with a glass of water and dragged the burned boxes into the kitchen so it would appear he tried to put out the original fire, he told police.

Norling said the first fire was caused by another worker leaving the gas for the fryer on, but that worker told an investigator he was “100 percent sure” he shut off the gas, according to the complaint.

At the time, Norling was on Huber work release while serving a six-month jail sentence for felony theft by fraud.

Copyright La Crosse Tribune Oct 28, 2005

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