Bond set at $30,000 for Rapid City arson suspect

Details of the "suspicious" fires investigation have been released by the RCPD.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A Rapid City man accused of setting multiple fires in the area around the West Park Apartments made his first appearance in court Wednesday.

Suspicious Fires Arrest

Raymond Andrzejewski, 68, has been charged with four counts of arson, one in the first degree and three in the second degree. Andrzejewski has also been charged with false reporting by allegedly pulling a fire alarm. A preliminary court date has yet to be set. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Todd Hyronimus set his bond at $30,000 cash-only.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred during the time frame from November 17, 2020 and January 25, 2021 where the Rapid City Police Department and Rapid City Fire Department responded to multiple fires in the area of the 1000 block of 11th Street, where Andrzejewski lived. The fires burned three unattached garages, two rooms in the apartment building and five dumpsters in the area.

According to court documents, police say that the manager of the apartments noticed Andrzejewski leaving his apartment minutes before the fires he admitted to setting. Andrzejewski also used his proximity card to enter the building after each of the fires.

The documents state that Andrzejewski admitted to setting fires on dates between December 5 2020 and December 6, 2020 located at 1017 West Boulevard, which resulted in extensive damage to the garage that also totaled a vehicle that was parked outside. The other fire, located at 1014 South Street was used as an art studio and received extensive damage. Police say both fires were started in the same manner.

On December 31, police say that a fire was started in an interior room, which is used for elevator access and to store shopping carts and recyclables at the apartments. Court documents say that Andrzejewski admitted to using a lighter to set the cardboard box on fire inside the room, damaging a wall before the fire was extinguished by the building’s fire sprinkler system.

Andrzejewski also admitted to starting a garage on fire, located at 1018 12th Street on January 23.

When it came to the charge of false reporting, police say that at about 1:45 a.m. on February 8, the RCPD and RCFD responded to a fire alarm the West Park Apartments. When they arrived, the RCFD stated that a pull station had been activated on the fourth floor, but there was no fire problem in the building. After reviewing camera footage, police say they saw Andrzejewski exit his apartment at around 1:17 a.m. and return at around 1:46 a.m shortly after the alarm was activated.

Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News