Man Arrested in Connection to Structure Fire in Gualala
A man has been arrested on suspicion of setting a structure fire in Mendocino County.
According to a media release by the Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched shortly after 4 AM on Monday, February 13, to a reported structure fire at the Gualala Community Center on the 47000 block of Center Street in Gualala.
Responding deputies met with South Coast Fire personnel as they were in the process of extinguishing “a large structure fire,” and learned that the fire appeared to have been intentionally set. Sheriff’s detectives assumed the investigation, in collaboration with an arson investigator from the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority.
Deputies obtained surveillance video from the area that reportedly showed a man igniting a fire at the community center and then fleeing on foot. The fire spread rapidly and had engulfed the structure within minutes, the Sheriff’s Office said.
From the footage, deputies were able to obtain a detailed view of the clothing the suspect had been wearing, and later located a person matching the description on the 39000 block of South Highway 1. The individual was identified as 53-year-old Roland Joseph Eskind Jr., reportedly a transient who had arrived in town just days earlier.
Eskind was arrested and booked on suspicion of willfully and maliciously setting fire to a structure.