MOORHEAD — A 34-year-old man is accused of lighting fireworks in his apartment, causing an evacuation of the building and resisting police.
Michael James McCollough, of Moorhead, was charged Tuesday, June 25, in Clay County District Court with one felony count of first-degree arson and two gross misdemeanors: fifth-degree assault and obstructing the legal process.
About 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 23, police responded to a report of an assault and a fire at Bright Sky Apartments, a permanent supportive housing facility for homeless people at 3305 3rd Ave. N. in Moorhead.
A victim told a Moorhead police officer he approached McCollough for allegedly causing a disturbance and that McCollough struck him, court papers said.
The fire alarms in the building went off as the officer tried to escort McCollough out of his apartment. The officer said he could see smoke and a “glow” coming from McCollough’s apartment, court papers said.
McCollough physically resisted as the officer handcuffed him, and the officer used pepper spray on McCollough, court papers said. Due to the struggle, the officer was prevented from addressing the fire, court papers said.
Several residents evacuated the building, and others were asked to leave by the Moorhead Fire Department.
Authorities found three cake-style fountain fireworks in McCollough’s apartment, two of which had been used, court papers said. There were burn marks on the ceiling and burned clothing on the floor, court papers said.
McCollough was being held Tuesday at Clay County Jail.