Drifter Arrested on Suspicion of Setting 3 Fires in Rapid Succession
NOVATO — A drifter visiting from Santa Monica has been arrested on suspicion of setting three fires in Novato on September 7. All three suspicious fires occurred in rapid succession in proximity to each other.
The first fire was reported in the Old Town neighborhood of Novato at 4:57 p.m. A tree was set alight near some historic buildings on the 1500 block of Novato Boulevard. Police officers assisted Novato firefighters who contained the blaze.
A second suspicious fire was discovered by police who happened to be passing a creek near Novato Boulevard and Diablo Avenue. Officers used fire extinguishers stowed in the back of patrol cars and slowed its spread, until firefighters arrived on the scene and took over.
While firefighters worked to contain both blazes, police began searching the area for a suspect. Not long afterward, officers located and detained the suspected arsonist outside of 939 Front Street.
Police saw the suspect later identified as 55-year-old John W. Davies igniting a third fire. He was arrested at 5:15 p.m., near the Matsuyama Restaurant, which was recently temporarily closed for renovations.
Firefighters responded again and extinguished this third blaze. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, nor were any structures damaged in any of the three fires.
Davies was booked into Marin County Jail, where he remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bond. He presently faces open charges for committing multiple acts of arson.