UPDATE: Man arrested in east Lincoln arson investigation

UPDATE:

On Saturday, Lincoln police arrested 40 year–old Dennis Prokopec for setting an east Lincoln home on fire last Thursday.

The house near 84th and O streets is where Prokopec’s ex–fiance lived.

“One of the victims had reported she had gone through a breakup and was being harassed by her ex, identified as 40–year–old Dennis Prokepec,” said Ofc. Angela Sands.

Joy Huber is the homeowner’s girlfriend.  She said Prokopec’s ex is a traveling nurse that the homeowner lets stay there.

“He was trying to help out a friend in a situation,” Huber said.  And so his friend…lives at the home or resides there.”

The fire caused almost $200,000 in damage to the home, ruining everything inside.

Fire investigators said five mattresses in the home were lit on fire, starting the blaze.

Firefighters rescued one cat from the home, but Huber said she and the homeowner couldn’t find the other cat, Pepper, until they went through the home’s remains that evening.

“He was sopping wet from all of the work from the firefighters,” Huber said.  “You know, he’d been soaked from the spray and everything dripping.  But both cats were successfully rescued.”

She said she’s thankful no one died in the fire and for the first responders.

“At this most horrific time in our lives, you know, there’s a lot of just total shock at how fast things can change and just complete devastation with the home being considered a total loss,” Huber said.  “Lincoln really has the finest first responders.”

If convicted, Prokopec faces up to 24 years in prison.

There is a go fund me page to help the homeowner with immediate expenses.  You can find that here: https://www.gofundme.com/help-family-who-lost-home-in-fire-before-christmas?fbclid=IwAR3cMnQFIPrVP2XGdELSaUSFxh6xO92Kn8q1YFxNiYkUw8a2FWfct1zaJ3c

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Forty-year-old Dennis Prokopec is behind bars for setting an East Lincoln home on fire last Thursday morning.

The house near 84th and O Streets is where Prokopec’s ex–fiance lived.

“One of the victims had reported she had gone through a breakup and was being harassed by her ex identified as 40-year–old Dennis Prokopec,” said Lincoln Police officer Angela Sands. 

No one was home when the fire broke out.

Neighbors told police they saw a man matching Prokopec’s description walking behind the East Lincoln house shortly before the fire started.

When Prokopec left neighbors told LPD they heard an explosion and saw flames coming from the house.

“Dennis was contacted at his home in Adams, Nebraska and was observed to have burns on his nose and forehead and his eyebrow was singed off. Dennis denied being involved in the arson and claimed his injures were from improperly using Nair hair removal,” Ofc. Sands said. 

Prokopec denied any involvement in the fire but was arrested by LPD on December 1.

Court documents reveal Prokopec’s ex–fiance called off the engagement earlier this year.

She told police her wedding dress had been taken from the home prior to the fire and according to the affidavit Prokopec was “obsessed” with it.

Police have yet to recover the dress.

The fire caused almost $200,000 in damage to the home, ruining everything inside.

The girlfriend of the homeowner that Prokopec’s ex-fiance was staying with spoke to us last week and said the gravity of the situation still hasn’t sunk in.

“It’s just a total shock to walk in there I mean I walked through the door about seven hours ago and to go back in and see I mean everything is gone,” said Joy Huber.

Fire investigators say five mattresses inside the home were light on fire sparking the blaze.

Prokopec is being charged with arson and burglary.


Lincoln Police say a man has been arrested in connection to the arson investigation of an east Lincoln home. 

The home at 7810 North Hazelwood Drive was scorched by a fire on November 29. 

LPD says Dennis Prokopec, 40, was arrested for second degree arson. 

Witnesses told investigators they saw suspicious activity around the home after the residents left that morning. 

A man driving a Chevy Traverse was seen walking behind the home for approximately half an hour. 

Witnesses told investigators they heard an explosion after the vehicle pulled away. 

Investigators found five separate points of origin and pour patterns at the home. 

LPD says three people lived in the house, which suffered nearly $200,000 in damages, including one woman who reported she went through a breakup with Prokopec. 

Authorities located Prokopec in Adams, Nebraska with burns on his nose, forehead, and a singed eyebrow. 

Prokopec said the burns were from a Nair hair removal product. 

Prokopec was booked in Lancaster County Jail for second degree arson and burglary. 

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