FISH LAKE TOWNSHIP, Minn. (FOX 9) - A man is now charged with murder for dousing a couple with gasoline and setting a fire at a home in Fish Lake Township last weekend, leaving one of the victims dead.
Dallas Evenstad, age 34, is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault for the early morning fire on Sunday, June 4.
Fire crews and sheriff's deputies responded around 3:30 a.m. for the fire on Cambridge Drive, which runs along the west side of Goose Lake, about 40 miles north of the Twin Cities. As deputies responded, they were told by dispatch that a woman, who had been seriously burned, told rescuers that the fire had been intentionally set.
At the scene, deputies spoke with another victim, a 69-year-old man, who was "screaming in pain" but able to tell investigators what happened.
According to the charges, the man and woman were in bed at their home when a man they identified as Evenstad entered the room and doused both victims with gas, and lit a flame.
The 69-year-old man was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center where he later died. The charges state the victim had severe burns over 80 to 90 percent of his body, the medical examiner determined. The other victim, a 42-year-old woman, later told deputies the same version of events, saying she was in bed and woke up to the smell of gasoline and a man in the bedroom. After escaping the fire, without a phone, she drove to a neighbor's home to get help.
She was rushed to Regions Hospital where deputies say she suffered second and third-degree burns.
The 69-year-old victim's daughter arrived at the scene and told deputies that she and her father were familiar with Evenstad. According to the charges, the daughter said Evenstad had threatened her in the past.
Evenstad was arrested shortly after when a Crosby man reported to police that Evenstad had shown up to his home shirtless, less than two hours after the fire, and asked if he could "crash" there.
Investigators found that Evenstad had been driving a vehicle stolen out of Waite Park, Minnesota. Inside the vehicle, deputies found a pink and gray lighter and a shirt that smelled of gasoline.
The charges don't spell out Evenstad's exact relationship to the family or any motive behind the attack.