Man charged with setting own home on fire in Downers Grove

Neighbors called in the fire and told authorities they saw Robert Clauser flee the scene.

SHARE Man charged with setting own home on fire in Downers Grove
A man faces charges for setting his home on fire Dec. 20, 2019, in the 1700 block of Virginia Street in Downers Grove.

A man faces charges for setting his home on fire Dec. 20, 2019, in the 1700 block of Virginia Street in Downers Grove.

Google Maps

A man accused of setting his own home on fire last month in west suburban Downers Grove was taken into custody and charged Monday after an arrest warrant was issued two days prior.

Robert Clauser, 52, faces one felony count of residential arson, the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office said.His bail was set at $50,000.

Authorities responded to a home about 7:03 a.m. Dec. 20 to a fire in the 1700 block of Virginia Street, the state’s attorney’s office said. The residence was “fully engulfed in fire,” and investigators found gas cans, propane tanks and other combustible items inside the home.

Robert Clauser

Robert Clauser

DuPage County state’s attorney’s office

“It is alleged that in the early morning hours of December 20, 2019, Mr. Clauser intentionally set fire to his residence,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “Thankfully, no one was injured, and the fire was contained to Mr. Clauser’s residence and did not cause any damage to neighboring homes.”

Neighbors called in the fire and told authorities they saw Clauser flee the scene.

Belle Aire, Herrick Highland and Pierce Downer schools were put on soft lockdown through the early afternoon.

Clauser is due in court again Jan. 9.

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.

The Latest
The fatal attack occurred in Homan Square.
One of the wounded, a 32-year-old man, was driving down the street when he was struck by gunfire, police said.
The 34-year-old was crossing the street just before 8:30 p.m. in the 2900 block of West Columbus Avenue when she was struck by a black SUV.
“That’s where you build fandom, grow revenue, and that’s where all the players will benefit versus adding a roster spot here and there.”