"It's a Huge Concern:" West Bend Arson Suspect Arrested

A man wanted for starting fires at three West Bend businesses has been arrested. 

Police announced the arrest Tuesday, ta

The most recent fire happened behind Mountain Outfitters on Sunday, when police say the man started a trailer filled with cardboard boxes on fire.

      "I came out and checked it out, and it was pretty ugly and dirty and damaged," says Mary Gamerdinger, who works at a non-profit next door. "Of course it's a huge concern that once you have a fire in these buildings that are all right up against each other, you could easily have a really bad situation." 

According to West Bend Police, the crime spree started outside the Sweet Creations Bakery on February 6th, when the man lit a wicker basket on fire in front of the store. An employee at a nearby liquor store was able to put that fire out, and call 9-1-1.

Nearly a week later, police say the same suspect started a fire in a garbage dumpster in the 7-Up Bottling Company parking lot. 

The third incident happened Sunday, February 26th. A West Bend police officer observed heavy smoke coming from the rear of Mountain Outfitters, 109 S. Main Street. The officer found a small utility trailer containing cardboard boxes, parked under the deck of the closed business, on fire. The business was closed at the time of the fire. The occupants of the building were evacuated safely and no one was injured as a result of the fire.

The 21-year-old man is facing charges of Arson to a Building, Arson to Property Other than a Building, and Reckless Endangering Safety.

     "I'm obviously very relief," says Gamerdinger. "Hopefully, one, it stops it from happening again, and two, lets people know that they're not going to get away with it here." 

CBS-58 is not naming the man until he's been charged. Police expect that to happen on Wednesday. 

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