Fire official: Help of witness leads to quick arrest of Oregon District arson suspect

A man suspected of setting fire to a home in the Oregon District was arrested not far from the residence, Dayton  police and fire officials said.

Christian Stargell, 26, was arrested Tuesday morning less than a half-mile from where police said they believe he set the fire. He’s now in the Montgomery County Jail pending the formal filing of an aggravated arson charge.

Emergency crews were dispatched before 11 a.m. Tuesday to 36 Hess St. on the report of a structure fire.

“There were some witnesses that were able to describe him leaving the scene and our fire investigators were able to go out and actually find him close by and arrest him,” said Scott Jacobs, Dayton Fire Department public information officer.

Jacobs said the fire did not appear to be a large one and crews extinguished it very quickly so it never grew to the extent of becoming a massive fire.

Stargell was arrested at 10:50 a.m. according to the Montgomery County Jail website.

Jacobs said the police and fire departments aren’t always able to make an arrest this quickly. But thanks to a witness description, they were able to track down their suspect almost immediately.

“It’s definitely a good thing for us to get somebody off the street quickly,” Jacobs said. “Oftentimes a little more search has to go into it.”

Stargell is detained on a charge of aggravated arson because he set a fire in a lived-in structure. Jacobs said the first felony charge isn’t dependent upon the size of the fire or the extent of the damage.

“If a fire is intentionally set in a place that it shouldn’t be, that’s where we have problems,” he said.

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