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Franklin man charged with arson after his own house caught fire twice in a day

A Franklin man has been charged with arson and is being held on $100,000 cash bail after his own house caught on fire twice in the same day, authorities said in a press release last night.

Philip Rudolph, 50, was also charged with being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon, insurance fraud and reckless conduct, authorities said. All four charges are felonies, and he is scheduled to be arraigned at the district court in Franklin this morning.

Rudolph’s single-family home at 308 Salisbury Road caught fire twice on Nov. 15, though authorities referenced only the later fire in their statement. The investigation is ongoing, they said.

No one was hurt in the fires. The house was rendered uninhabitable.

The first fire started in the basement around 11 a.m. and was out by noon, officials said at the time. It was still under investigation when a second fire started around 4 p.m.

About 55 firefighters from 10 agencies and the Franklin Police Department responded to that blaze, which eventually engulfed the house and left it so structurally unsound that officials couldn’t enter until the following day. It took about 90 minutes to extinguish the blaze, but firefighters hosed it down well into the evening.

On the day in question, officials said that a man, his wife and at least one child lived in the house but were not home at the time of the fire. The Red Cross arrived after the first fire to help and then stayed on scene during the second.

Rudolph’s arrest was a result of a joint investigation by the state fire marshal and the police and fire departments in Franklin.

Anyone with information about this incident can contact District Chief Max Schultz at 223-4289 or the arson hotline at 1-800-400-3526.

(Molly A.K. Connors can be reached at 369-3319 or mconnors@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @MAKConnors)

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