PINEDALE – Authorities were able to identify and arrest the suspect they believe is responsible for multiple arson fires that ravaged Pinedale last month.
The Fresno Fire Department said that 23-year-old Jeremy Chacon was taken into custody for the arson. They say he is linked to 10 of the fires that were set around the small rural community during the first two weeks of April.
During one day in April, fire crews responded to five separate calls and discovered 12 arson fires involving plastic trash containers set on fire in the area. On another day, firefighters responded to arson fires at an abandoned house near Beechwood and Maroa avenues, and four other arson fires. Firefighters also put out a large trash bin fire that was next to a business near Herndon and College avenues.
Investigators began to recognize a pattern and knew they were looking for an arson suspect.
With help from video surveillance and witnesses, investigators were able to link Chacon to 10 of the fires in the area. They arrested him in the 200 block of West Minarets Avenue around 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
“It’s our pleasure to announce the arrest of the serial arsonist that has been plaguing the Pinedale section of our community,” said Deputy Fire Marshall Don MacAlpine.
Chacon faces 12 felony charges of arson linked to the 10 fires. If convicted, he could face up to 39 years in prison.
“Anybody who is going to start a fire intentionally, roughly with malice in mind, is a danger and needs to be reckoned with appropriately,” MacAlpine said.
Fresno Bee: Suspect arrested in String of Pinedale Arson Fires