Dallas Serial Arsonist Caught

A man started more than 20 fires in the Dallas area in a span of three weeks.

22 fires in three weeks

Jack Howland, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

(MCT)

Apr. 27–A man started more than 20 fires in the Dallas area in a span of three weeks, burning garbage, vegetation and at least eight structures, until he was apprehended late on Saturday, officials announced.

Firefighters from Dallas Fire-Rescue put out a dumpster fire a little before midnight in the 1400 block of Elm Street, near a CVS in downtown Dallas. Police officers arrested 31-year-old Rondarrious Campbell at the scene, officials from Dallas Fire-Rescue said in a news release.

But what appeared to be a simple arrest, officials said, “was in fact the culmination of weeks of hard work by DFR’s Fire Investigation Division.”

Campbell is suspected of setting at least 22 fires between April 8 and Saturday, none of which resulted in any injuries, according to the release. The fire department spent weeks investigating the “serial arsonist” and, with the assistance of police, were able to catch him.

Investigators believed they were dealing with an arsonist going to back to April 19, when two small fires were set, at 1800 Main St. and 325 North St. Paul St., within 15 minutes of each other, officials said. They determined on April 24, after more small fires, they were dealing with a single person repeatedly setting fires.

The suspect was seen multiple times wearing red tennis shoes with a white stripe and carrying a gray-ish blue backpack, according to the release.

The fire department determined he was focusing on areas in northwest Dallas, near Harry Hines Boulevard, as well as the medical district and downtown Dallas. Investigators turned over a fire pattern assessment, video evidence and a description of the suspect to police, officials said.

The police department then began to monitor radio traffic for fire-related incidents near the DART rail line in the specified areas, officials said.

Police found Campbell near the scene of the Elm Street dumpster fire and took him into custody.

Investigators were able to charge him with arson in connection to an April 23 fire at 2920 Inwood Road after they interviewed him in jail, officials said.

Additional charges are expected to be filed against Campbell in connection with other fires.

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