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Eden Prairie Man Charged with Arson After Setting Fire to a Townhome with Children Inside

MINNEAPOLIS – An Eden Prairie man has been charged with arson after setting fire to a townhome with four children inside, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, on May 31, 2024, at 11:27 a.m., the Eden Prairie Fire Department responded to a fire in a townhome. When the fire started, there were five people in the house, including one adult man and four children. When emergency responders arrived, they met the adult male occupant and three children outside, but the fourth child, a nine-month-old baby (Minor A), was still in the burning house. Eden Prairie firefighters entered the residence and located Minor A, who survived the fire but needed to be transported by ambulance to the hospital.

After the fire, ATF investigators and Eden Prairie police officers learned that Minor A's mother lived in the burned home and Abdirahman Abdi Abdullahi, 23, was on probation for violating a restraining order that prohibited him from contacting Minor A's mother. Investigators also learned that two days before the fire, Abdullahi sent a threatening message to Minor A's mother stating, "when I see u I'm smoke u." Law enforcement obtained surveillance footage from a nearby business that showed Abdullahi shortly before the fire carrying a red gas can through a line of bushes towards the townhome. Minutes later, the footage showed Abdullahi emerge from the bushes with the gas can and return to his vehicle. Investigators determined that Abdullahi's vehicle was a rental and were able to trace the rental agreement. Investigators also obtained surveillance footage from a nearby gas station that showed Abdullahi arrive in the rental vehicle and fill the red gas can with gasoline. Law enforcement located and arrested Abdullahi. At the time of his arrest, officers found clothing items that matched Abdullahi's clothing in the surveillance footage.

The complaint charges Abdullahi with one count of arson causing injury. Abdullahi made his initial appearance on July 1, 2024, in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung. He was ordered to remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing scheduled for July 8, 2024.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Eden Prairie Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William C. Mattessich is prosecuting the case.

A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

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