Man arrested for starting 1 of 4 suspicious fires in Monrovia, police say

MONROVIA, Calif. (KABC) -- A 25-year-old man was arrested for arson Thursday in one of four suspicious fires that occurred during a 26-hour period in Monrovia.

Three homes are red tagged and three people have been displaced in the four incidents, which caused over $1 million in damage. Authorities haven't yet said whether all four of the fires are connected or the work of one person.

"There was a K-9 that came out, hit on several locations at the reported location, those indicated an accelerant was used, possibly to start the fire," said Brad Dover, fire chief of the Monrovia Fire Department.

Later Thursday, Monrovia police confirmed that a man has been arrested for one of the first two fires which occurred a few hundred feet from each other on March 6. One of them was a vegetation fire. Ryan Dhalliwal of Monrovia was charged with starting a blaze nearby that burned a book exchange in the 700 block of West Chestnut Avenue.

"We are currently detaining a subject of interest who is speaking with our investigators in regards to any knowledge or possible involvement," said Alan Sanvictores, police chief of the Monrovia Police Department.

An unoccupied home under construction caught fire on March 6 as well, and the fire jumped to the attic of a neighboring home that was occupied by two people. The fourth fire happened early Thursday morning and destroyed the home of a man who has lived there for 30 years.

"It just makes absolutely no sense. It's really unfair. He's just a very nice man. Very neighborly," said Diane Mims, who lives across the street from the most recent fire.

Luckily, the man inside was alerted by his smoke detector and was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene. His cat was killed.

"It's kind of scary, especially with the night before, and the night before. That's the three nights in a row," said Mims.

To donate to one of the victims displaced by the fires, click here.
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