Local News

Student admits to starting residence hall fire

Police: Fire was in retaliation for punishment

MADISON, Wis. - A University of Wisconsin student admitted to starting a fire at a campus residence hall over the weekend, according to UW Police.

UW Police and Madison firefighters were called to Sellery Hall on Johnson Street at 2:15 a.m. Saturday for a report of a fire. The building was evacuated, and a bulletin board was extinguished, according to police. Investigators determined the fire was intentionally lit.

Police said that after talking to witnesses, Brent E. Newman, 19, was identified and, he admitted to starting the fire.

Newman had been disciplined by a house fellow a few hours earlier for allegedly urinating in a female shower stall, according to police. Police believe Newman set the fire in retaliation for being written up.

Newman was arrested on suspicion of negligent handling of burning materials and criminal damage to property.

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