Witnesses saw flames from the bottom floor of the house, where a window had been left open. The house, in Sundsvall in northern Sweden, has previously been the object of both theft and vandalism.
No one was injured in the fire, which the police have categorized as suspected arson.
“We presume so, although there might be other explanations,” Bruno Lindgren, Västernorrland’s police force’s officer on duty, told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
The 76-year-old man who lives in the house was arrested a week ago, suspected of having been involved in the rape of a 14 year-old boy, reported several media sources on Sunday.
The 76-year-old, who denies all charges, was arrested last Friday, suspected of aiding aggravated child rape.
According to the prosecutor, two teenage boys reportedly held down the 14 year-old and abused him. The elderly man reportedly watched without interfering. One of the teens has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated child rape.
The 76-year-old has been described by anonymous sources to Aftonbladet as an “extra granddad” for neighbourhood children. Still, there is now a feeling in the neighbourhood that something was not quite right.
“Many teens have been saying that he’s been a dirty old man. He’s said strange things that they found disgusting. And talked about sex with young girls and boys,” said a mother to Aftonbladet.