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Published August 31, 2011, 09:23 PM

Police: Arsonist Targeted Cando, ND, Native and Former Sioux, Vikings Player's Family

APPLE VALLEY, MN (WDAZ-TV) - A man accused of arson apparently targeted a Cando, ND, native and former Fighting Sioux and Vikings player's family. Aaron Ferrarese, 21, of Apple Valley, told police he started the fire at the three-story home Dave Osborn, 68, was sleeping in.

By: WDAZ Staff Report,

APPLE VALLEY, MN (WDAZ-TV) - A man accused of arson apparently targeted a Cando, ND, native and former Fighting Sioux and Vikings player's family.

Aaron Ferrarese, 21, of Apple Valley, told police he started the fire at the three-story home Dave Osborn, 68, was sleeping in.

Ferrarese is charged with first and second-degree arson in the fire set at about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

Osborn and his wife were house-sitting for their daughter at the time of the fire. Osborn's granddaughter and three other teenage girls were also sleeping in the home.

All six were able to escape out the back door of the home. The third floor of the home was burned away.

A criminal complaint says Ferrarese told police he wanted the Osborns' 19-year-old grandson "to feel some pain." Police reviewed squad car video and saw Ferrarese at the scene of the fire as they responded. Police say he even took photos and video of the fire before firefighters arrived.

Osborn's wife heard a suspicious noise and saw flames on either side of the front door, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

"We're all OK," Osborn told the newspaper on Wednesday. "There were six of us in the house. Had we not gotten out, it could have been six cases of murder."

According to the complaint, Ferrarese tore the zipper out of his jail clothing as he was in a cell and tied it around his neck. He then said he didn't want to live and to "just take him to prison."

Ferrarese initially declined to talk to police. But he eventually said "that he had taken some gasoline in a yellow pop can and driven to the house, where he started a fire on the front porch. He stated he did not know anyone was in the house and did not check to see whether there was or not. He wanted the grandson to feel some pain because he said that the grandson got away with everything," according to the complaint.

Osborn said his grandson, Rex Sanders, was a standout football and Lacrosse player at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, and that the suspect knew him from school.

"I'm sure there was some jealousy," Osborn said of the suspect.

"This incident easily could have involved multiple deaths as six persons were in this home when it was set on fire," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom told the Star Tribune.

Osborn played for the Vikings for 11 seasons, from 1965 to 1975, and was named all-pro in 1967.

He played his final season with the Green Bay Packers in 1976.

Osborn and his wife live in Lakeville, MN.

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