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Homeowner charged for allegedly setting off gas explosion in Manhattan brownstone: police

UPPER WEST SIDE— A man was taken into custody after he allegedly tried to set his Upper West Side house on fire Thursday night, police said.

A man was taken into custody after he allegedly tried to set his house on fire Dec. 22, 2017. (PIX11)

First responders were called to a brownstone house along 94th Street and Columbus Avenue just before 11 p.m. about a gas explosion. When they arrived, officers found damage to the lower level of the house — a blown out wall and door, as well as a small fire.

As crews worked to contain the scene, they found the owner of the house, Charles Welsh, 52, with a leg injury.

No one else was home at the time, and no one else was injured, FDNY said.

Next door neighbor, Marissa McInerney, told PIX11 the explosion jolted her out of bed. She said it felt like an earthquake.

While they were interviewing Welsh, investigators came to believe he might have deliberately cut the gas line to set the house on fire because he was upset about his wife filing for divorce, police sources said.

He was later taken into custody and charged with arson. Welsh had no prior arrests, and there was no history of domestic violence between the couple, police said.