Richland County arrests alleged serial arsonist

rlowe@thestate.comFebruary 1, 2013 

A man who authorities say is responsible for setting at least six fires in Richland County is in custody, the sheriff’s department announced Friday.

Jonathan Brown, 24, was arrested Wednesday and charged with five counts of arson and one count of willfully burning lands of another, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

He is accused of starting six fires from Jan. 15-30.

According to the sheriff’s department, Brown set five vehicles on fire in three separate incidents Jan. 15 at Kestner Automotive, 4031 Broad River Road. On the same day, he is accused of using a 5-gallon can of used oil stuffed with pine straw to set a fire at a residence in the 1000 block of Beatty Road, then trying to start a blaze at another nearby residence.

A week later, Jan. 22, the suspect allegedly started three separate fires in a wooded area behind the Carrington Place Apartments on Beatty Road.

The final incidents were Jan. 28 at Kestner Automotive, when the suspect is accused of setting two vehicles ablaze; and Jan. 30, when he allegedly tried to set a chair on fire at the Taste of the South restaurant at 3827 Broad River Road.

Brown is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

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