Moorhead man pleads guilty to setting apartment on fire to get out of lease

Boyd Wurner
Boyd Wurner(Clay County Jail)
Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 1:44 PM CDT
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MOORHEAD, Minn. (Valley News Live) - A man accused of setting his own apartment on fire to get out of his lease, has pleaded guilty in Clay County Court.

According to court records, Boyd Austin Wurner pleaded guilty to arson on August 24. Firefighters were called to 1021 32nd Avenue South in Moorhead on August 28, 2022 for smoke coming from an apartment.

Detectives found three fires throughout the unit, including on the bedroom floor, living room floor and the kitchen/dining room area. According to court documents, a bottle of lighter fluid was found on the dining room table and the smoke alarm had been removed from the wall.

The fire was contained to Wurner’s apartment unit, but detectives said it was a large apartment building with numerous people that were home and sleeping at the time of the fire, which constitutes 1st degree arson.

Court documents say, at first, Wurner claimed he had been coking pizza in the oven and that started the fire. He then said he was intoxicated and spilled vodka, which further ignited the flames. After speaking with detectives, Wurner eventually admitted to setting the fires saying he was tired of the noise coming from his neighbors and wanted to get out of his lease.

Wurner is scheduled to be sentenced on September 10.