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DECATUR — A 28-year-old Decatur man was arrested early Tuesday on preliminary charges of aggravated arson after a woman said he set fire to her back porch and poured gasoline on her front porch. 

Decatur Police Detective Sgt. Chris Copeland said police were sent to the 1900 block of East William Street at 3:37 a.m. about someone threatening to set a house on fire.

Police arrived and smelled gasoline on the front porch, Copeland said. They spoke with the woman, who said she had been attempting to end a relationship with the suspect when he became angry, broke a glass and knocked over a garbage can.

She went inside and smelled smoke, Copeland said. She went to the front door and smelled gasoline, went to the back porch and saw it was on fire and asked another man who was present to help extinguish it.

The man told police that he had seen the suspect walking along the side of the house with a small gas can shortly before he and the woman saw the fire.

Shortly after police arrived, the suspect returned to the area and was arrested, Copeland said. He faces preliminary charges, which are subject to review by the Macon County State's Attorney's Office. 

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Contact Allison Petty at (217) 421-6986. Follow her on Twitter: @allison0512

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Regional Editor

Regional editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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