Man arrested after a dozen fires set in Yuma

Man arrested after a dozen fires set in Yuma

Credit: Yuma Fire Department

Man arrested after a dozen fires set in Yuma

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by Christina O'Haver

azfamily.com

Posted on January 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 21 at 3:59 PM

Map: First Avenue and Catalina Drive

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YUMA, Ariz. -- A man was arrested Friday night in connection with a series of arson fires in Yuma.

Yuma Police Department Sgt. Leanne Worthen said at least a dozen fires were set on the south side of the city between about 8:09 and 9:06 p.m.

Antonio Salazar Jr., 27, was taken into custody near First Avenue and Catalina Drive. Worthen said a Yuma police officer responding to a fire in the area spotted Salazar and found evidence linking him to the crime.

He was booked into the Yuma County Adult Detention Center on charges of reckless burning, arson of a structure, arson of an occupied structure, and criminal damage.

Yuma Fire Department Public Information Officer Mike Erfert said firefighters were dispatched to a fire in an alley on the 2500 block of South Fourth Avenue just after 8 p.m. A mattress and a fence were on fire.

About the same time, the fire department was called to a blaze on the 2400 block of Fourth Avenue.

As firefighters were arriving in the area, they received a report of a fire alarm sounding at the nearby Crescent Center. Erfert said fire personnel found a desk on fire in the lobby of the office building and quickly extinguished it, limiting damage to the desk and an adjacent window.

Over the next hour, the fire department responded to multiple alley fires roughly between 24th Street and Catalina Drive and Avenue A and Madison Avenue.

Erfert said Saturday morning that the exact number of fires is not yet available because some were spotted while firefighters and law enforcement officials were responding to reported fires.

The largest blaze involved palm trees on the 2800 block of Madison Avenue, Erfert said.

Homes were threatened but the fires were quickly contained, according to Erfert.

No injuries were reported.

The Yuma County Sheriff's Office and United States Border Patrol assisted with the search for the suspect, Worthen said.

Anyone with additional information or wanting to report damage is asked to contact Detective Eric Fell at 928-373-4744 or the Yuma Police Department at 928-373-4700. To remain anonymous, contact 78-CRIME.

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