Police said Anthony Lange started the two fires on the eleventh floor of Oglesby Hall, 1005 College Court in Urbana. The building is part of the Florida Avenue Residence Hall Dorms at the U of I.
"It's kind of scary to go to sleep you know," explained U of I student James Shin who lives on the same floor as the fires.
U of I police and fire crews were called out to Oglesby Hall for the first fire around 12:30 in the morning. The fire was already out when they got there, but there was damage to the door.
Lt. Roy Acree said papers that were already on the door, were lit on fire with a cigarette lighter. The rooms had people inside, but no one was hurt.
According to police, Lange told them he was the one who put out the first fire with a water bottle.
About two hours later crews were called back to the same floor for another fire on a different door. A student who was up late studying, smelled it and put it out with his foot. Police said embers from the papers on the door fell on the carpet.
Lt. Acree said they suspected Lange had a role in the fires because he was asking too many questions like, "Why didn't the fire alarm go off?" and "Why didn't the carpet get on fire?"
Police said Lange confessed to the crime, and basically explained to police he did it to rooms that had people in them. Lt. Acree said the student was not drunk at the time.
The 22-year-old was in court on Friday and charged with aggravated arson, residential arson, and criminal damage to government-supported property. If he's convicted of aggravated arson he could face six to 30 years in prison.
U of I police said he received a letter of termination of his contract to live in the residents hall. Along with being kicked out the dorm, he could be kicked out of school but it's up to a disciplinary school, according to police.