Excerpts from the Dailyherald.com:

No one was injured in a 2016 fire at a home on the 1000 block of Penny Lane in Palatine. The homeowner, Richard Moss reported the fire to authorities about 5:30 p.m. March 6, 2016. Moss, who was alone at the time, told authorities the fire began in a smoker on the patio he was using to cook chicken, but Palatine Fire Department Lt. Matthew Nagy testified the smoker was cold to the touch when he examined it several hours later.

Moss, 44, now of Warrenville, is charged with arson. He has pleaded not guilty. His defense attorney suggested the smoker and the charcoal briquettes inside might have cooled during that time.

Nagy testified the fire originated in two mattresses in a basement utility room, one of which was completely consumed by fire. The other mattress and both box springs were damaged, as were the subfloor and laminate flooring in the room above. Finding no accelerant, Nagy determined the fire began after someone held a flame to the mattresses.

Moss told Nagy he left the house after he smelled something burning and saw smoke rising from the vents. Nagy testified Moss told him he was going through a divorce, had financial concerns, had been out of work for several years and had quarreled with his girlfriend earlier that day.