Mistaken gender identity leads to arson investigation in Norfolk

Posted at 8:12 PM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 00:12:37-05

NORFOLK, Va. - A bizarre case out of Norfolk after the gender of a man is mistaken.

Court records state the suspect freaked out and authorities say he started a fire.

Sean Danenberg was arrested for arson on November 7.

There is still damage left by the fire started back on October 30 at 8 a.m.

fire-arson“Basically, sitting in my room playing Xbox and I heard a loud popping sound,” said Patrick O'Brien, who lives next door, “I was worried about the flames coming in breaking my window.”

He said the smoke was unbearable. “Couldn't even open the door because of all the smoke accumulating everywhere and you couldn't breathe."

Court records state Danenberg tried having an “intimate conversation” with a person outside of a home on 39th street but discovered the person was a man.

It states Danenberg got upset and drove up and down the street several times shouting

Records then say he went up to the home and urinated on the floor and left.

Ten minutes later a fire was started in the back of the house.

Over a week later Danenberg turned himself in.

O’Brien told his neighbors to get out of the house and luckily no one was hurt.

The victims were not interested in speaking to News 3. The fire department estimates about $5,000 in damage.

Danenberg has a hearing on January 4 and declined an interview with News 3 from jail.