Police investigate Pirus for potential insurance fraud

MADISON (WKOW) -- The owner of an exploded home is being investigated for potential insurance fraud connected to a 2011 truck fire at the property, according to Madison Police Chief Mike Koval.

Steven Pirus, 59, was charged with several felony crimes Thursday after authorities say he killed his wife, and then blew up his home on Stratton Way in Madison Sept. 13, 2017 to cover up the crime.

Koval says an investigation into the burning of Pirus' truck in November of 2011 has been reopened, with investigators looking at whether the fire was connected to any fraudulent insurance claims. 

Madison Fire Department reports state Pirus said valuables such as cameras and a handgun were inside the truck at the time it went up in flames.  Reports state Pirus denied having any connection to the fire. Reports state Pirus' destroyed, 2005 Chevy Colorado was valued at $17,000, with the contents of the truck pegged at $8,000.  The listed value of the truck was nearly double what Pirus listed as its worth when he filed for bankruptcy in May 2010.

"We see the underlying duplicity of what he did in covering up a homicide,"  Koval tells 27 News.  "One has to wonder if we did all that we should or could have done relative to what see panning out now.  Was there more tell tale indication of insurance fraud vis-a-vis some sort of contrived arson investigation?"  Koval says.

Madison Fire Department spokesperson Cynthia Schuster says there was no determination of whether the truck fire was accidental, or intentionally set.Pirus is due back in Dane County court next month in connection with the homicide, arson, endangering safety and other charges against him in connection to the Sept. 13 incident.  He's jailed with bail at $1 million.

For more on this story: http://www.wkow.com/story/36430607/2017/09/22/police-investigate-pirus-for-potential-insurance-fraud

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