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Serial Indianapolis arson suspect arrested

Investigators: Man may have set up to 20 fires
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Posted at 8:33 PM, Dec 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-21 20:56:44-05

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man who may be responsible for up to 20 arson fires has been arrested.

The announcement was made late-Saturday by Mike Pruitt, a public information officer with the Wayne Township Fire Department.

Pruitt says an arson task force made up of investigators from Wayne and Decatur townships, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms worked on the case which resulted in the arrest of 27-year-old Deaire Gray of Indianapolis.

He faces 16 felony arson charges and could be responsible for as many as 20 fires on the city's southwest side.

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Pruitt says the investigation began in mid-September when a person was seen lighting a fire on Ironton Street as firefighters were putting out another fire on nearby Lyons Avenue in the Mars Hill neighborhood. Over the next three months, an individual was captured on video setting fires at vacant and occupied homes.

That individual matched the description of Deaire Gray.

There were no injuries in the fires, but damage is estimated at nearly $100,000.

Pruitt says the arrest was the result of a multi-agency effort and information from the community.

Additional information about the arsons and the arrest will be released Monday.