Tempe man arrested for setting fires

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TEMPE -- A Tempe man was arrested on arson charges after an investigation revealed that he was involved in three separate arson incidents in Tempe.

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Man admits setting fires in Tempe - Police have arrested a man they believe has set several fires this month in Tempe.

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Troy Adam Wheeler Jr., 21, was arrested Wednesday afternoon in the area of Spence Avenue and Terrace Road in Tempe.

According to the Tempe Police Department, there have been at least five grass/vegetation fires in that area since June 4 and Wheeler was a witness to four of them.

A vegetation fire was discovered in a cluster of 6-foot-high palm trees in the 1100 block of East Spence Wednesday afternoon. When Tempe police officers arrived, Wheeler stated that he had been in the exact area where the fire was discovered trying to light a cigarette.

Wheeler initially said that he discovered the fire shortly after he walked away from the palm cluster. Wheeler later told officers that he may have recklessly caused the fire and was placed under arrest.

Upon further investigation, police say Wheeler admitted to intentionally setting the palm cluster on fire as well as admitting to two other vegetation fires in the area of Spence Avenue and Terrace Road.

Wheeler was booked into Tempe City Jail and charged with three counts of arson of property.