BOISE -- A Boise man is facing arson charges after police say he reacted to having to leave a bar by setting a fire next to its patio.
The fire started minutes before 2 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Fireside Inn, located at 1610 North 31st Street.
Prosecutors said Thursday that 21-year-old Chase Christensen and two other patrons at the bar became upset after being told that the bar was closing and they could not purchase any more drinks.
Christensen walked out of the Fireside with one of the other patrons, then returned a short time later, smiled at the bartender and left again, prosecutors said. Within 30 seconds, people at the bar saw flames leaping from the bushes surrounding the porch area.
The fire damaged the bushes, a wooden patio post and lighting hung on the patio before it was extinguished with pitchers of water, prosecutors said. The flames did not spread to the Fireside Inn building, police say.
As officers were on scene investigating the fire, dispatchers received a call about a possible prowler nearby.
Investigators found Christensen in the area and spoke to him, at which point he admitted to setting fire to a branch at the Fireside, prosecutors say.
The suspect was arrested and booked into the Ada County Jail on a felony charge of third-degree arson.
Christensen's attorney, Larry Scott, asked the judge Thursday to set a low bond, pointing to the defendant's family ties in the area and suggesting the Fireside Inn did not want to pursue the case.
Scott also said it was possible a person other than Christensen had set the fire, "despite his statements in an inebriated state to the officer that evening."
The judge ultimately set the suspect's bond at $5,000, and ordered him to not consume alcohol or go to any bars while the case was pending.
Christensen's next court date is set for Jan. 25. If convicted of the third-degree arson, he could face up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.