HAMILTON, Ohio — A man charged with arson based partly on data collected from his pacemaker pleaded not guilty Tuesday to setting his Ohio home on fire.

Authorities have said gasoline was found on Ross Compton’s clothing and that the fire started in multiple places, but Lt. Jimmy Cunningham told WLWT-TV the medical data represented some of “the key pieces of evidence” in the case.

Compton’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

Compton told authorities that when he saw the fire Sept. 19 inside his Middletown home, he packed some belongings in a suitcase and bags, broke a window with his cane and threw the items through the window before carrying them to his car, according to police. He also said he had a cardiac pacemaker, authorities said.

Court records show police got a search warrant to retrieve electronic data stored on the heart device. The data included Compton’s heart rate, pacer demand and cardiac rhythms before, during and after the fire, police said.

A pacemaker monitors the heart and helps control irregular heart rhythms. The information is recorded and can be retrieved for analysis.

A cardiologist determined that it was “highly improbable,” because of his medical conditions, that Compton could do all the collecting, packing and removal of items from his house and then carry them in the short period of time he indicated, according to court records.

Compton, 59, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court to aggravated arson and insurance fraud charges.

The case has raised privacy concerns at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which focuses on defending civil liberties in the digital world. Stephanie Lacambra, a criminal defense staff attorney with the foundation, said in an email that Americans shouldn’t have to make a choice between health and privacy.

“We as a society value our rights to maintain privacy over personal and medical information, and compelling citizens to turn over protected health data to law enforcement erodes those rights,” Lacambra said.