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Complaint alleges man set business on fire to save his marriage

Posted On Mon, January 31, 2011

A criminal complaint filed in Wisconsin last week alleges a fire destroying a man's automotive business was started by the owner himself because he wanted to save his marriage.

According to the Portage Daily Register, Gary Holmquest was charged last Thursday with arson of a building with the intent to defraud in Dane County Circuit Court in Madison, Wisconsin. The complaint, filed by Holmquest's estranged wife Jennifer, states that Holmquest told her and a friend that he planned on starting the fire by soaking rags in oil and placing them in corners throughout the building. The complaint also alleges Holmquest had planned the arson for a month, and that he planned on using the insurance money collected to fix up their home and start a new business elsewhere.

The charge comes nearly 4 1/2 months after the September 10 blaze destroyed Holmquest Motors.

Almost all home insurance policies cover the cost of damage should a home be damaged due to a fire. But in the event a home or place of business is intentionally set ablaze, coverage protection will likely not apply. 

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