Hamilton

'Serial arsonist' charged following 3 fires that caused $130K in damage: Hamilton police

The 37-year-old Hamilton man is facing two counts of arson causing damage to property and one count of arson with disregard for human life, according to investigators.

37-year-old charged with arson with disregard for human life

Dark smoke billowed from a fire at an industrial yard on Princess Street in Hamilton on Dec. 31, 2021. Police have announced an alleged arsonist has been arrested in connection with the incident and two other fires. (Supplied by Huey Salmon-SM/Hamilton Police Service)

Police say a "serial arsonist" has been arrested in connection with three separate fires that caused an estimated $130,000 in damage in recent weeks.

The 37-year-old Hamilton man is facing two counts of arson causing damage to property and one count of arson with disregard for human life, according to investigators.

The charges follow three fires, including one in a business yard near Sherman Avenue and Princess Street on Dec. 31 that sent a large cloud of thick, dark smoke billowing over the lower city.

Firefighters found scrap vehicles and tires burning, along with a a "very visible plume of black smoke," said Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Steve Welton at the time.

Crews managed to extinguish the flames and no one was injured, said police, adding the fire was deemed suspicious and damage was set at roughly $75,000.

Two other fires were sparked in the weeks that followed.

A suspicious blaze on Jan. 7 burned a shed at a home on Beechwood Avenue, resulting in $5,000 in damage, said police.

Then, on Jan. 22, investigators said a fire at a vacant home on Paling Avenue caused an estimated $50,000 in damage.

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