An East Moline man has been charged in connection with a suspicious fire at an apartment building Thursday.

Joseph Louis Rubalcava, 31, faces one count of arson, a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison.

Online court records show that he made an initial appearance on the charge Saturday. Bond was set at $50,000.

A preliminary hearing also was scheduled for May 23.

The East Moline Fire Department was called around 10:30 a.m. Thursday to a structure fire in the 1000 block of 21st Avenue.

Neighbors reported seeing an apartment building in the area emitting smoke from the second story. Firefighters found a two-story duplex with heavy smoke in the east side of the structure, according to police.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire that appeared to have originated in an upstairs closet. Investigators determined the origin was suspicious, according to police.

Prosecutors allege in court documents that Rubalcava set a fire inside the building, where he lived. 

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