Also, city council members pleads guilty in connection with brawl at July meeting

    An apparent arson and suspicious death are being investigated in Thief River Falls, and a suspect, Devon James Pulczinski, 23, has been arrested on suspicion of arson and second-degree murder.

    The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports that early in the evening on Wednesday, March 27, a 911 caller reported a fire at 307 1/2 Arnold Avenue South. The home has two apartments, one on the lower level and one on the upper level.

    The Thief River Falls Fire Department extinguished the blaze and subsequently discovered the body of a deceased female in the upper-level apartment.

    The Ramsey County Medical Examiner in St. Paul is conducting an autopsy on the female, who had not been identified as of press time Friday.

    Authorities say Pulczinski was the renter at the residence.

    He’s in custody at the Pennington County Jail.

Council member pleads guilty

     A former Thief River Falls City Council member involved in a brawl during a July public meeting pleaded guilty last week on a disorderly conduct misdemeanor charge.

    Joshua Hagen, 39, will be on probation for six months and the charge will disappear from his record within six months as long as he doesn’t break any other laws, a judge ruled.

    Current Council member Jerald Brown, also involved in the altercation, pleaded guilty in August. He received a stayed sentence, a $100 fine, and the charge is no longer on his record.

    Hagen and Brown, along with other council members, were discussing a proposed splash park during an Administrative Services Committee meeting in July 2018 when Hagen and Brown got in an argument that ended with chair-swinging and punches thrown.

    Hagen resigned from the council a week after the fight citing health issues, but not before accusing council members and the mayor of bullying.