Man arrested for setting fire outside Senator Bernie Sanders’ office

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A man was arrested Sunday for allegedly setting a fire outside Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) office in Burlington, Vermont, authorities said.

Shant Soghomonian, 35, is accused of using fire to damage the building, according to the Vermont U.S. Attorney’s Office. No injuries were reported, the office said, and Soghomonian’s motive remained unclear as of Sunday afternoon.

Soghomonian entered the building Friday morning and headed straight to the third floor, where Sanders’ Vermont office is located, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement. statement. Security video footage showed Soghomonian spraying a liquid near the office door and then illuminating the area with a handheld lighter.

A “significant” fire started, engulfing the door and preventing several employees from fleeing, according to a report. statement of the Burlington Police Department.

The fire damaged the exterior of the door and hallway, and activated the building’s sprinklers. The sprinkler system “largely extinguished the fire,” the police department said. Sanders was not in the office at the time, according to the police department.

Soghomonian, formerly of Northridge, California, could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. An attorney “has not yet been identified” for him, the U.S. attorney’s office said in its statement.

Multiple agencies investigated Friday’s incident, according to the statement, including the Burlington Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Vermont State Police and the U.S. Capitol Police.

Sanders’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

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