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La Crosse man suspected in George St. arson pleads not guilty



The man accused of setting fires in a condemned La Crosse house last summer pleaded not guilty Thursday to an arson charge.


Patrick Pedretti was given a $1,000 signature bond, as he awaits a trial date.

Attorney Vincent Rust said in court that Pedretti was unstable when the fires occurred in July but has since stabilized. The prosecution said mental health concerns were the reason for keeping the 44-year-old in jail.

Pedretti was living in the house on George Street and was upset that it was condemned. He’s accused of setting baseball cards, newspapers and cardboard on fire in a bathtub and sink, causing moderate fire damage.

Investigators traced the fire to Pedretti, after seeing his name on one burned piece of paper.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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