Man Arrested For Starting Wildfire With Molotov Cocktail, Gets Released From Jail, Starts 6 More Fires: Police

An arsonist who was arrested in Oregon after reportedly starting a wildfire with a Molotov cocktail was later freed from prison but captured again within 24 hours for reportedly starting 6 more fires. 

According to the Portland Police Bureau, 45-year-old Dominigo Lopez Jr. was arrested after using a Molotov cocktail “to start a small bush fire”.

“On Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 4:35p.m., East Precinct officers were dispatched to assist Portland Fire and Rescue with a brush fire in the 9600 block of East Burnside Street,” the statement reads. “Officers saw that a section of grass along the I-205 freeway was burning. Firefighters extinguished the fire. No one was injured and no structures were damaged.”

“About an hour later, East officers were flagged down by a witness who pointed out the suspect in a nearby tent,” the statement adds. “Officers arrested the suspect, who confirmed he lit the fire with the device.”

Police brought Lopez into the Multnomah County Detention Center

“on charges of Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree,” the statement continues. “Arson investigators are also doing follow-up to see if other charges are warranted.”

Authorities found evidence of the crime during the initial investigation:

Lopez was put behind bars Sunday evening on charges of  “reckless burning and second-degree disorderly conduct” and was let go later on that night, according to the New York Post. 

“The alleged arson comes as Oregon is one of the worst hit by wildfires devastating the West Coast, with at least 10 dead in the Beaver State,” the Post writes.

Later on, The Portland Police Bureau reported that the man was captured just a few hours later for starting a few more fires after being let go from prison. 

“On Monday, September 14, 2020, at 3:37a.m., East Precinct officers were dispatched with Portland Fire and Rescue to a report of multiple fires burning along the west side of the I-205 freeway,” the Portland Police Bureau wrote in another statement.

“Portland Fire and Rescue extinguished three of them while passing community members put out the other three. All were caught early. No one was injured and no structures were burnt. Officers located Domingo Lopez, Junior walking along the shoulder and arrested him. They seized a lighter as evidence.”

Lopez was cited for Reckless Burning 6 more times and was brought to a hospital for a mental health check-up.

One of the massive fires that recently ravaged California was allegedly started by a pyrotechnic device that was used during a gender reveal party. 

The state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection made a press release saying the following:

CAL FIRE Law Enforcement has determined the El Dorado Fire, burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, was caused by a smoke generating pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party. The fire began at 10:23 am on September 5, 2020 in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. The fire spread from the park to the north on to Yucaipa Ridge that separates Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls from the City of Yucaipa. CAL FIRE reminds the public that with the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire. Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially responsible and criminally responsible.

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