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Relief for Indianapolis southwest side residents after arson suspect arrested

Authorities: Suspect may have set up to 20 fires
Posted at 5:57 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 18:15:11-05

INDIANAPOLIS — There is relief on the Indianapolis southwest side following the arrest of a man suspected in an many as 20 recent arson fires.

The arrest of 27-year-old Deaire Gray was announced Saturday. Monday, residents of the area where Gray allegedly set the fires talked about how stressful the last three months have been.

In September, surveillance cameras captured video of Gray pouring something on the street and then setting fire to it. Not long after, houses were torched. Some were vacant, others were occupied.

"The damage amounts were getting higher, the damage to the structures was getting more significant, and there was undoubtedly an eminent threat to the public safety," said IMPD Detective Jim Albin.

"I haven't been able to sleep hardly at all since the first time and its just continued to get worse." said Kaitlyn Starcher. Her brother's house was set on fire twice. Terry Holdings is OK, but damage to his house is heavy.

Investigators have connected Gray to seven fires, but believe the total number is closer to 20. Gloria Herald says her house is one of them, intentionally set of fire in November. "I was nervous and scared when I went back in the house. It was awhile before I went back to sleep," she said.

But now, residents say they rest a little easier because of the arrest.

Investigators say there appears to be no link between the suspect and his victims, nor is there any word on a possible motive.

Gray, who currently faces 17 arson counts, is due back in court on Friday for a bond hearing.