Guilty plea in Mason City arson case

MASON CITY — The man accused of arson after a fire at a Mason City apartment building back in August has pleaded guilty to a reduced arson charge.

The Mason City Fire Department responded to an automatic fire alarm at 24 5th Southwest in the early morning hours of August 25th, with firefighters arriving on the scene seeing smoke coming from an apartment. The Fire Department says the building’s sprinkler system kept the flames under control until the crews were able to fully extinguish the fire, but the interior of one apartment sustained fire, smoke and water damage while other units were not damaged.

One person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and building residents were able to return to their apartments.

48-year-old Patrick Martinson was charged with first-degree arson, a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Martinson has pleaded guilty to second-degree arson, a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years.

The plea agreement states prosecutors will recommend a suspended prison sentence and five years probation when he’s sentenced on December 11th.