Man threatened to burn down building during Meire Grove standoff: Charges

A man is accused of threatening to burn down an apartment building during a standoff Monday in the small Stearns County city of Meire Grove.

Anthony Vankirk, 42, was arrested on Monday following the standoff.

The sheriff's office was called out for a 911 call for a domestic incident involving Vankirk and a family member, during which Vankirk had destroyed items with a hatchet.

When deputies arrived, Vankirk claimed he had a hostage in the apartment and would burn down the building, forcing authorities to evacuate other apartments.

Deputies also believed that Vankirk was armed with a butane torch and had access to paint thinner, the charges detail. He also has a past conviction for arson. In that past case, court records show Vankirk was arrested in Albany, Minn., for attempting to burn down an ex-girlfriend's shed after she refused to call him back.

Ultimately, deputies forced their way into the apartment and arrested Vankirk. He is now charged with two counts of threats of violence and a count of domestic assault. 

He is currently being held in the Stearns County Jail.