Arson investigators testify against Omaha man accused of trapping roommates
Multiple fires were set in the southwest Omaha house in August
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Arson investigators provided Douglas County Court with new information Wednesday about a man accused of setting a house on fire in August with his roommates inside.
Jacob Hansen, 42, sat silently in court Wednesday afternoon as two fire investigators walked the state through the arson case.
On Aug. 3, two upstairs roommates at the home near 159th and T streets told investigators they saw Hansen packing up his room to move out.
A short time later, he was apparently gone — and then they both smelled smoke.
A mattress was on fire and was blocking the exit from a roommate’s bedroom. Down the hall, a recliner was on fire and blocking the bedroom door of another roommate who climbed out the second-floor window to escape.
Besides the two fires set upstairs, investigators said two others were set on the main floor: one by the staircase, and one by the front door.
As for a motive, investigators said the week prior to the fire, the same two roommates said Hansen seemed angry that no one helped him when he had hurt his hand. They allege he told them: “I hate all of you people, and I want to kill all of you.”
Investigators also said Hansen’s ex had recorded a phone call with him either the night of the fire or the next day. She said she was fearful of him.
In the phone call, investigators told the court that he was allegedly heard saying: “I just burned my own property. Why can’t I burn yours?”
The judge decided there was enough probable cause to move the arson and terroristic threats case to district court.
Hansen remains in the Douglas County Jail on a $765,000 bond.
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