Man charged with arson in Champaign fire

By Jeremy Werner

A Champaign man was arraigned on Tuesday and charged with a single count of residential arson, accusing him of setting the fire that damaged the home of his 43-year-old girlfriend, Serlena Britt at 909 W. Beardsley Ave. Sunday night.

Kenneth D. Brown, 47, of 510 E. Columbia Ave., is due back in court on June 17. Bond was set at $200,000.

Britt, a son and three minors live at the residence, but no one was in the home when the fire was set. Britt’s puppy was killed in the blaze.

Firefighters arrived at the scene at 9:57 p.m. Sunday night and put out the fire in about 10 minutes, said Champaign Fire Department spokeswoman Dena Schumacher.

The garage was completely on fire and another separate fire had been ignited inside the home, leading firefighters and police to suspect arson, she said.

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Firefighters estimate the fire caused $140,000 in damage to the home.