An Akiachak man’s nephew allegedly set his house on fire on Friday while the man was still asleep inside, Alaska State Troopers say.

Troopers were alerted to the fire at 8:05 a.m. The fire was started by 19-year-old John Nick Jr., according to an online dispatch.

Nick and his uncle, 57-year-old George Manutoli, were reportedly arguing about a cigarette prior to the fire, according to troopers. Roughly 30 minutes later, Nick returned to his uncle’s house with a gas can and set the home’s entryway on fire. Manutoli was sleeping inside when the fire was set.

Troopers arrested Nick and charged him with first- and second-degree arson and third-degree criminal mischief. He is being held on a $15,000 bail at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center.

Akiachak is located northeast of Bethel in western Alaska.

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