Homeowner charged after fire destroys Muskegon home

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House Fire on Park Street (April 2, 2015)

MUSKEGON – The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office says charges have been filed against the owner of a home that was destroyed by a fire early Thursday morning.

56-year-old Thomas Henry Kieft is charged with lying to police in a violent-crime investigation after authorities say he falsely claimed someone thew a burning object into his home in the 1900 block of Park Street.

Thomas Henry Kieft, 56 (Photo: Muskegon County Jail)

Thomas Henry Kieft, 56 (Photo: Muskegon County Jail)

The two-story wood-frame home was destroyed by the time firefighters got the flames under control Thursday morning.

Prosecutors say investigators are awaiting lab results to come back to determine the actual cause of the fire.

Kieft was arrested the day of the fire, and faces up to 8 years in prison if convicted.  The felony charge normally carries a maximum 4 year sentence, but because Kieft is a third-time habitual offender, the possible maximum punishment doubles.

Kieft has a criminal record including past convictions for delivery of a controlled substance in the late 80’s, along with breaking and entering in 1993.

Prosecutors say Kieft also has a prior felony case pending against him involving charges of resisting and obstruction a police officer, involving a misdemeanor charge of unlawful use of a 911 call.  That case was bound over this week to Circuit Court for trial.

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