One person in custody for arson following East Lincoln fire

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -- Lincoln Police have arrested a 40-year-old for arson after a fire at an east Lincoln home on Thursday.

LPD said Dennis Prokopec, 40, has been arrested for second-degree arson following an investigation into the fire at 7810 Hazelwood Drive, just southwest of 84th and O Street around 9 a.m. on Thursday.

Police said Prokopec was the ex-boyfriend of a woman staying at the home. The woman said she had gone through a breakup with Prokopec and was being harassed.

A witness reported to police Prokopec arrived at the home in a Chevy Traverse, backed into the driveway, and put his tailgate down. He then walked behind the house for 20-30 minutes and walked away.

The witness then told police they saw an explosion and the house catch on fire.

Prokopec was contacted at his home in Adams, Nebraska, where he denied being involved, police said.

However, authorities said he had burns, and matched the description given by the witness.

Prokopec told police the burns were from improper use of Nair hair removal, but on Dec. 2, he was arrested for second-degree arson and burglary.

On the day of the fire, heavy smoke could be seen coming from the house when crews arrived.

LFR said no one was inside the home at the time of the fire, but they did rescue two cats from the premises.

No adjoining properties were damaged by the fire.

$185,000 worth of damage was caused to the property.