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BLOOMINGTON - A 27-year-old man is accused of trying to set fire early Sunday morning to the apartment building of a woman he was previously accused of battering.

Andrew L. Altum of Latham was held Monday in lieu of $25,000 on a charge of aggravated arson. The charge indicates he knew someone was home at the time of the fire.

Assistant State's Attorney Mark Messman said Altum is accused of entering the building to start the fire between 2 and 6 a.m. Fire department officials are investigating the cause. The damage was reported shortly after 10 a.m., and the flames were out before firefighters arrived.

Police said a wood floor and a window were damaged.

Altum was also given a brief jail sentence Monday for pushing one of the apartment building's residents June 11.

In a plea agreement, Altum was sentenced to 180 days in jail and conditional discharge, but 150 days of that sentence was stayed pending review and he was given credit for 13 days served. Messman said if the new charge predates the plea agreement, Altum can't be accused of violating the terms of the conditional discharge.

A court file says the building is owned by Alderwoman Judy Stearns, who said the tenant of the damaged apartment had moved out but still had some property inside. She said tenants of the other two apartments were still living in the building.

Stearns said the damage was confined to one room and she is waiting for an insurance investigation before repairs.

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