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A 72-year-old Mandan man is accused of pouring gasoline inside a house while a woman and child were there and allegedly threatening to burn it down.

Mandan police responded to a house at an unlisted address at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, when officers observed a "strong smell of gasoline" on the porch and inside the house, the affidavit says. Officers detained Robert Fred Tesky and made contact with a 55- or 54-year-old woman and a 1-year-old baby who were inside the home.

The woman told officers Tesky was drunk and went to the shed to grab a can of gasoline with the intent to start the house on fire, according to the affidavit.

Firefighters with the Mandan Fire Department also responded and told the police that any ignition source, even the lighting of an electrical furnace, could have started the house on fire with the amount of gasoline that was poured, the affidavit says.

Tesky reportedly admitted he "was going to burn the house down, that way he did not have any freeloaders in the house," according to the affidavit.

Tesky has been charged with felony counts of arson, reckless endangerment and terrorizing. He had an initial appearance in court Thursday afternoon.

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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