Neighbours say a man rescued from the roof of a burning house on Avenue G South claimed that he'd been confined and tortured in the condemned bungalow.

Police cannot confirm his claim. They've charged the 23-year-old with arson and three breaches of probation.

It all started just before 10 a.m. CST when police and fire crews were called the house at 427 Avenue G South with reports of a fire.

They arrived to find smoke seeping from the eaves of the home, which had its windows and doors boarded up. A shirtless, agitated man was on the roof.

Roof guy arrested

The 22-year-old is charged with arson. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

Crews were able to get the man off the roof using a ladder. Officers then handcuffed him and put him in a cruiser.

Firefighters using axes were able to pry open the front door. They put out a small fire just inside the door, which is estimated to have caused less then $2,000 in damage.

Creedance Sutherland lives next door. She said that she heard a commotion coming from the condemned house the night before. She said it's not unusual because people often use the back yard for a variety of things.

'All of a sudden he was randomly on the roof with a broomstick, trying to like protect himself. ' - Creedance Sutherland

"Sometimes they come here and just hang in the back yard," she said.

And then, Monday morning she heard noises and came out to investigate.

She spotted the man on the roof.

"I don't know, all of a sudden he was randomly on the roof with a broomstick, trying to like protect himself with that broomstick, saying he was still alive to those guys," she said.

"He must have been chased on the roof because he had something that he was swinging at people to, like, get away from him. So, must have been, like, getting threatened by those people and he went up there so, like, they won't get at him."

Fire crews found no one else in the house.

Police are still investigating.