Fire official: Del City man admits setting fire so wife wouldn't find out about eviction

John Quentin Pongratz, 50, of Del City, was charged with second-degree arson after telling fire investigators he ignited paper and cigarettes in the house he was renting.
by Tim Willert Published: August 15, 2012
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— A Del City man who admitted setting fire to a house so his wife wouldn't know they were being evicted, was charged Wednesday with second-degree arson, records show.

John Quentin Pongratz, 50, told a Del City fire investigator that he ignited paper on a desk and placed lit cigarettes on two beds inside a house he rented in the 3100 block of Del Rancho Road, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the charge in Oklahoma County District Court.

Pongratz was interviewed twice by authorities, first at the scene of the Aug. 6 fire and again at the Del City Fire Department. He initially said he left the house early that morning and did not return until he was told the house was on fire several hours later.

Pongratz changed his story several times, according to Maj. Zion Williams, who wrote in the affidavit “Pongratz admits to setting his house on fire so his wife wouldn't find out they were in the process of being evicted.”

Pongratz was being held Wednesday in the Oklahoma County jail with bail set at $7,500, a jail official said.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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