Man fulfills desire to burn own house
Saturday morning, on the doorstep of a home at 1149 Micaelas Court, 38-year-old Grand Junction man Timothy Wellard told a police officer that he wanted to burn his house down, and in fact had wanted to for the past 20 years.
About four hours later, the same officer arrived at the address to find the home on fire, according to police.
Earlier, a real estate agent called police when Wellard allegedly approached her while she was showing the house next door, and “told her he wanted to light his house on fire,” according to his arrest warrant affidavit.
The officer knocked on Wellard’s door, and during the conversation about lighting his own house on fire, he allegedly told the officer “that he wanted to see what the 2x4s on the inside of his house looked like.”
The same officer was dispatched to the address about 1:40 p.m., and found smoke coming from the home’s swamp cooler and the seams of the garage, according to his report.
“(Wellard) was fidgeting with his hands and could not hold still and seemed to be giggling,” the officer wrote.
“I asked him how he did that and he told me, ‘It was just a piece of paper. Just a little piece of paper,’” he wrote.
The officer wrote that when he was arresting Wellard, he muttered under his breath about the various elements of arson while being handcuffed.
In court Monday, Mesa County Court Judge Craig Henderson lamented his lack of available options to deal with Wellard’s clear mental health issues, and issued a $50,000 cash-only bond in his case.
Firefighters said they were able to knock the fire down quickly, but damages were estimated at $25,000.