California man lit propane canisters on fire during fight with roommate, police say

Posted at 9:14 PM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-28 21:14:16-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Charred shoes and mangled window panes remained outside a Northern California home Wednesday after a man allegedly set fire to several propane tanks during a dispute with his roommate.

Police say 37-year-old Shawn Viramontes got into an argument with his roommate and threatened to set their Elk Grove house on fire.

"He retreated to the room, closed his door and the smoke ... was an indication to the people inside that residence that ... a fire started," said Elk Grove Police Officer Jason Jimenez.

The roommate’s parents told KTXL the argument started when their son confronted Viramontes about his belongings going missing. He believed Viramontes stole from him and told the suspect he needed to move out.

That’s when they say Viramontes locked himself in his room, lit propane canisters on fire and jumped out the window before they exploded.

"Our officers quickly arrived in the area, established a perimeter and with the assistance of an air unit, we did locate the suspect shortly thereafter," Jimenez said.

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They caught up with Viramontes near the intersection of El Oro Plaza and Emerald Park drives, putting an elementary school on lockdown in the meantime.

Police arrested him on charges of attempted homicide, arson and criminal threats.

"Why would anybody want to burn down a house?" said neighbor Jerry Rhoads. "Why put everybody in danger, though, for a simple fight?"

Neighbors were left hoping Viramontes does not come back to their quiet street.

"We don’t want that type of crap in our neighborhood," Rhoads said.

Viramontes is being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail and was not given the option of bail. He is due in court Thursday afternoon.