Man charged in Duchess Cleaners fire

Published: Oct. 12, 2018 at 11:32 AM CDT
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A man has been charged after a fire on August 20 at Duchess Cleaners in Cedar Rapids.

Grant Ajango, 22, has been charged with 2nd-degree arson and 3rd-degree burglary after allegedly starting the fire.

Chris Gray, the general manager of Duchess Cleaners, came in around 5 a.m. to start his shift in August when he noticed flames shooting out of the building.

When the manager called the fire department, authorities said they were already on their way.

Court documents suggest the fire was intentionally set. They say after flames were put out, investigators found a hammer inside the building and believed the suspect used it to gain entry.

After Ajango allegedly broke into the building, he's said to have stolen a set of keys to a delivery van parked nearby. Investigators searched the vehicle and found an iPad. It had fingerprints that belonged to Ajango.

Witnesses and security video from businesses nearby also identified Ajango was near the building before the fire was reported.

Duchess Cleaners announced earlier this week they will be closing their doors at both of their locations at the end of the month.

Ajango faces previous charges

on August 11.

He was also

a woman in 2016.

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