WEBER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Police have arrested a man after he set a house on fire while on a methamphetamine trip on Tuesday.
Ogden Police have identified the man is Austin Shortman, 41.
Officers first received reports of an active structure fire affecting a residence in Ogden. Police say the suspect, Shortman, is also the homeowner.
While being interviewed, Shortman admitted to using a propane torch to set a blanket on fire inside his home before exiting.
Shortman says he intended to set the house on fire because he reported hearing individuals speaking inside his home through speakers. Shortman believes the speakers were planted by his landlord and other culprits. Officers say Shortman expressed anger towards his landlord and other people. Police say burning down the home was Shortman’s way of escaping the “delusions.”
Shortman admitted to using methamphetamine the night before and realizes the drug can influence behavior for hours or even days after.
Police say the type of paranoia Shortman experienced is common in methamphetamine users.
Shortman has been arrested on two charges including aggravated arson and intoxication. He’s currently booked at the Weber County Sheriff’s Office.