DAYTON – Dayton police have arrested a man suspected of starting three fires Monday morning that destroyed and damaged vacant buildings in the city.
David Scott Butler, 44, is being held in Montgomery County Jail on a charge of aggravated arson. He is scheduled to appear today for an arraignment in Dayton Municipal Court.
Officials said three house fires on the east side of Dayton, just south of U.S. 35, were arsons, and the man believed to be the suspect was seen near the fires.
The first fire in the 500 block of Pritz Avenue was reported around 7:50 a.m. Smoke also could be seen from U.S. 35.
Motorists heading west into the city on U.S. 35 ran into heavy smoke as it poured from the second fire in the 400 block of Highland Hills Avenue shortly after 8 a.m.
The third fire, at a boarded-up two-story brick home in the 400 block of Nicholas Avenue, appeared to be contained quickly after crews arrived on scene.
Dayton’s district chief on scene said accelerant may have been used to set the fires on Pritz and Highland Hills avenues. Crews had put out flames at the first fire when smoke started pouring from the second house a few blocks away.
“Without a doubt, we can call this arson,” said District Chief Barry Baldwin.
Butler is believed to live in the neighborhood.
The fires remain under investigation.