Illinois Man Charged With Arson That Destroyed Own Home

May 4, 2009

Cook County, Ill., authorities have filed arson charges against a man who spent several months in the hospital after a natural gas explosion that partially destroyed his home in suburban Buffalo Grove.

Prosecutors say 41-year-old Michael Cheney became despondent when his girlfriend left him last November, so he turned on the gas in the home they shared, and called friends to tell them he was committing suicide. The friends called 911, but when Cheney heard an ambulance approaching, he lit a cigarette lighter, igniting the gas.

The resulting explosion blew out the windows and part of the roof, and burned Cheney on the face and body.

He was charged with residential arson and released on $80,000 bond.

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