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Plymouth Man Faces Arson Charges After 2019 House Fire

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged a Wayne County man with arson following a 2019 house fire.

Patrick Nolan, 40, was arraigned in Wayne County 35th District Court last week on the following charges:  

  • one count of arson of an insured dwelling, a felony punishable by life in prison and/or $20,000 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater; and 
  • one count of second-degree arson, a felony punishable by 20 years in prison and/or $20,000 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater. 

The Attorney General worked alongside the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Fraud Investigation Unit to investigate this case.

In the early hours of Jan. 1, 2019, the Plymouth Township Police and Fire Departments responded to 50081 Shefield Court for a house fire. Nolan owned the home, which was insured for loss caused by fire.

Two investigations, one by Michigan State Police and the other by EFI Global, determined arson was the cause for the following reasons: 

  • the fire originated in three separate unconnected areas identified as the master bedroom, basement storage room and the common hall at the top of the basement stairs; 
  • the first material ignited was ignitable liquid vapors identified by laboratory analysis as gasoline; 
  • the source of ignition was an open flame igniting gasoline vapors; and 
  • the fire was human caused. 

Review of the infotainment system in Nolan's truck found he was parked at the residence less than two hours before the fire was reported by a neighbor.

"When one person tries to take advantage of insurance coverage through criminal acts, it affects all of us," Nessel said. "I appreciate the investigative coordination between my office and DIFS that resulted in these serious criminal charges."

Nolan's bond was set at $250,000, 10 percent, with the conditions he must forfeit all weapons, his passport and will be placed on a tether if released.

"Mr. Nolan is accused of committing a serious and potentially dangerous crime, and I am pleased with the work of investigators in law enforcement, the DIFS Fraud Investigation Unit, and the Attorney General's office in this matter," DIFS Director Anita Fox said. "Insurance fraud costs all of us in the form of increased premiums, and Michiganders who suspect fraud in the insurance or financial services industries are asked to report it online at or by calling 877-999-6442."

The next court date is a probable cause conference on July 16. The preliminary exam is set for July 23.

The DIFS FIU investigates criminal and fraudulent activity related to the insurance and financial markets and works with the Attorney General and other law enforcement to prosecute these crimes. Suspected insurance fraud can be reported to DIFS safely, easily and, in most cases, anonymously by calling 877-999-6442 or online by visiting DIFS' website.


Please note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.