SCOTTSDALE (3TV/CBS 5) -- A 75-year-old Scottsdale man was arrested Sunday after a fire investigation determined he set his own business on fire earlier this month, according to police.
James Richard Waller is being charged with arson of an occupied structure and criminal damage for his involvement in the April 14 fire near Pima and Pinnacle Peak roads.
The fire was quickly put out by fire personnel and the building's sprinkler system.
Police say in addition to the fire and related damage to High Desert Rugs and Furnishings, several other nearby businesses and vehicles had been vandalized with spray paint.
All of the damage appeared to be related and investigators quickly deemed the fire was suspicious.
During the investigation, evidence indicated Waller, the owner of High Desert Rugs and Home Furnishings, was responsible for both the spray paint and starting the fire inside his own business.
"Obviously, there was something wrong, and it makes you feel bad that it had to be that way," said Denise Barrett, owner of a nearby business called Sonny and Chair. She said Waller had always seemed like a friendly person.
"I think he's come in once or twice to get food to go," said Tristen Haasch, a server at Raven Gastropub, which is also nearby. "Unfortunately, we were affected by graffiti; it covered our menu sides in the front, and our wall, the entrances."
Waller was arrested and released pending felony charges through the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
The investigation remains ongoing.