Plea change hearing set for Mason City man accused of arson

MASON CITY — A plea change hearing has been scheduled for a Mason City man accused of arson.

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. Martinson pleaded not guilty to the charge last month and was scheduled to stand trial on October 31st, but court records show an order was filed on Tuesday to set a plea change hearing for November 6th in Cerro Gordo County District Court.