An Inver Grove Heights man is accused of accidentally starting a fire that caused $300 of smoke and water damage to a storage facility.
Jason Ista, who graduated from Simley High School in 1993 and owns a custom computer business, is being charged with second-degree arson and misdemeanor domestic assault after an altercation with a woman outside an Inver Grove Heights storage facility. He's being held on a $100,000 bail in Dakota County Jail.
Inver Grove Heights police responded to a water flow alarm around 6 p.m. on Jan. 29, according to a Dakota County Criminal Complaint, and found Ista in a screaming match with a woman.
“He did it! I can’t take this anymore. He started the fire," the woman said.
“She slapped me! She knocked the cigarette out of my hand. I didn’t do anything,” Ista said.
The woman told police that she had come with Ista to the storage facility but that he became irate when he couldn't find his keys.
The woman then called her husband to tell him about Ista, according to the criminal complaint, and Ista grabbed and smashed her phone.
Then Ista snatched the woman's keys with enough force to cut her hand, she told police.
The woman locked herself in her van and, she told police, Ista went into the storage facility before throwing an object through the van's window.
The woman said she then noticed smoke coming from within the facility.
Police found broken cell phone parts and a lighter at the scene.