Police: fire at Columbia home tied to burglary
COLUMBIA - Fire investigators said a July 3 fire at a home is tied to a burglary that happened the night before.
According to a police report, officers went to the home on Hardin Street on July 3 for a report of arson. Firefighters had been to the home earlier in the day. While investigating, police said Bryan Nickle's ex-wife said Nickle had been at the home late on July 2.
While there, the victim said Nickle broke windows at the home, wanting to talk to her. After a while, the woman left the home and went to a family member's house. She said when she came back early the next morning, Nickle was in the yard but left.
That same morning, firefighters went to the home for a reported fire. Marshals determined the fire was set on purpose, saying there were accelerants and signs of forced entry.
When police later found Nickle, officers said he made "spontaneous statements that he 'barely made it out of the fire.'"
Nickle is at the Boone County jail on suspicion of arson, property damage and burglary. His bond has been set at $9,500.