Ohio fire crews find arson suspect 'actively using an accelerant' at blaze

Officials said the man got onto the roof and refused to comply with firefighters and police officers


Jen Balduf
Dayton Daily News, Ohio

DAYTON, Ohio — When Dayton firefighters responded to a fire on Tuesday, the stairs to the burning area were barricaded and a man was inside trying to spread the fire.

It took Dayton police 30 minutes to arrest the suspect — later identified as 28-year-old James Albert Dickerson Jr. — from the time fire crews arrived at 7:12 p.m. to the building at 814 Xenia Ave.

Police say James Albert Dickerson Jr., 28, was found by Dayton firefighters
Police say James Albert Dickerson Jr., 28, was found by Dayton firefighters "actively using an accelerant" at a fire scene on Tuesday. (Photo/Montgomery County Jail)

Dickerson was "actively using an accelerant to spread the fire throughout the room and refusing to evacuate the building after being ordered to do so by the fire crews," according to an affidavit. "The defendant then left the room and got onto the roof where he continued to be disorderly and refusing to comply with orders of the fire department and police officers on scene."

Dickerson's actions caused damage to the building and created risk to public safety crews and Dickerson as well, the court document stated.

"The fire was a result of the defendant intentionally lighting the fire and spreading it through the building using an accelerant," the affidavit read.

Dickerson is held on $100,000 bond in the Montgomery County Jail, where he's been since his Tuesday arrest. He is next due in court March 12, jail records show.

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(c)2021 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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