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Nov 19, 2009 10:52 PM by Nicole Vandeputte

Evidence against man accused of arson

We're learning more tonight about the case against a man accused of burning his house down. As we first told you on Wednesday night, Mark Rance is accused of setting fire to his Black Forest home back in July. It was a total loss.

According to the arrest affidavit, El Paso County Sheriff's deputies were suspicious of Rance almost immediately. They couldn't find him for several days after the fire. When they did find him, he told them he escaped the burning home with his shotgun and spent the night in nearby woods. They also learned his home was in foreclosure.

Sheriff Terry Maketa says the physical evidence is what really pushed the case. Inside the burned out home, fire investigators found a torch in a closet and several areas of intense burning.

Pieces of that debris were sent in for lab testing. The lab results show an accelerant was used in several areas of the home. Sheriff Maketa says, "You can actually see if a person sprays an accelerant on the floor. Let's say it's lighter fluid. It's going to have a particular burn pattern, and that's what those investigators are searching for."

It was those clues that led to the arrest of Rance 4 months after the fire. He is charged with arson, and is being held on a $75,000 bond.

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