Another warrant issued for man who started Duluth synagogue fire

Matthew Amiot fled Bethel Port Rehabilitation Center after intake

matthewjamesamoit mug.jpg
Matthew James Amiot
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The man responsible for starting the fire that destroyed Duluth's Adas Israel Congregation has another warrant out for his arrest due to a probation violation.

On Oct. 25 Matthew James Amiot, 36, was sentenced to four years of probation, chemical dependency treatment, up to 90 days in jail, 192 hours of community service and $66,000 in restitution.

Following Amiot's sentencing , he returned to jail with a credit of 36 days already spent in jail. He was ordered to remain there until a bed opened in a chemical dependency treatment facility.

A Rule 25 chemical use assessment recommended Amiot to enter residential chemical dependency treatment. He completed his intake at Bethel Port Rehabilitation Center in Duluth Monday morning, then fled the center around noon, according to court documents.

Amiot, who is homeless, admitted to starting a fire behind the synagogue on the morning of Sept. 9 in hopes of staying warm while having no place to stay. He admitted to walking away when the flames grew to an uncontrollable size. The fire caused more than $350,000 in damage and wounded one firefighter.


A previous arrest warrant was issued for Amiot on Sept. 26 after he failed a judge's orders to attend a probation meeting and stay at the CHUM shelter. Prior to his sentencing, Judge Shaun Floerke granted a defense request to allow Amiot to be released from custody under intensive pretrial release. He was booked into the Douglas County Jail on Sept. 30.

According to court documents, Judge Sally Tarnowski signed off on a recommendation that once Amiot is apprehended he return to court for a reevaluation of his sentencing.

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