A Racine man was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with arson in connection with a fire that damaged the rear exterior of the building housing Hot Shop Glass, 239 Wisconsin Ave.

Robert P. Pirk Jr., 44, remains in the Racine County Jail on a charge of arson with a repeater enhancement. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison and/or fined up to $100,000.

According to the criminal complaint, two garbage cans were set on fire behind the Hot Shop Glass building on June 3-4. The fire damaged an electrical box and telephone service wiring. The Racine Fire Department deemed the fire as suspicious.

A review of a neighboring business’ surveillance cameras showed an individual in the alley. Following a review of the video, several tips from the community, and booking photos from prior arrests, police identified Pirk as the individual. The footage showed Pirk’s face, and his long, blonde hair was distinctive, according to the complaint.

What’s next

Pirk remains in custody at the Racine County Jail. Racine County Court Commissioner set a cash bond of $750 for Pirk’s release. He is expected to to be back in court at 9:10 a.m. July 1.


Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...