Cleveland man acquitted of aggravated arson in vacant house blast, convicted of burglary

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland man has been acquitted of charges he caused an explosion at a vacant house resulting in damage to more than 70 homes in the area.

Fifty-seven-year-old William Calderwood was acquitted Friday of 55 counts of aggravated arson in Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Common Pleas Court. He was convicted of one count of burglary.

The fiery Jan. 25 blast damaged 72 homes on Cleveland's west side. Prosecutors say Calderwood stole appliances, furniture and pipes from the vacant house and tampered with its gas line before the explosion.

Calderwood's attorney, Patrick Leneghan, says he is elated about what he calls a "fair and just" verdict.

Calderwood will be sentenced Wednesday and faces a maximum of five years in prison.