William Arnold Miller allegedly told a 911 operator: "I did something bad. I set my house on fire," according to court documents.
After that 5:29 a.m. call last Wednesday, firefighters went out to the Cambridge Drive home to put out the flames. No one was home.
Miller later turned himself in, according to court documents. He appeared in Yellowstone County Justice Court on Tuesday for a felony arson charge.
Justice of the Peace Pedro R. Hernandez set bond at $5,000.
As fire investigators determined that the fire was confined to a closet, Miller called to turn himself over to the police, charges state. He told officers that he lit a towel aflame and removed the smoke detector, the documents say.
He then called 911 because he changed his mind about burning the house down, though court documents say his original intent was so that he could afford to pay rent. His mother owns the house.
Miller is set to appear in Yellowstone County District Court on June 8.