A suspected arsonist is in custody after admitting to setting a series of fires in Cottonwood Thursday.
The first fire was spotted at Sandy’s Specialties doughnut shop on Main Street around 10:30 a.m. Firefighters were called after reports of a fire in the bathroom. People at the doughnut shop tried putting out the fire themselves, but were unable.
Firefighters on the scene noticed smoke nearby on Chestnut Street caused by a fire in an outbuilding that spread to grass and brush. Luckily, that fire was put out before it spread.
Just as crews finished mopping the second fire up a third fire ignited in an outbuilding attached to a home on Trade Way. Fire crews rushed over, but not before the structure sustained serious damage.
Two dogs escaped from the home; firefighters were able to pull three more dogs from the flames. One of the three dogs was resuscitated, another dog didn’t make it.
At this time, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office joined in the hunt for the suspect implementing the use of a helicopter and a K9.
He was arrested a short time later and admitted to setting the fire. As he was arrested he screamed, “Wallflower, burn the town down.” The man continued to yell while being taken into custody to be questioned by detectives and firefighters.
Fire crews there said they hadn’t encountered the man before.
During the arrest, investigators found an attempt to set a fourth fire at another building in the area.
Deputies tell us no one was hurt.
Damage estimates and charges against the suspect are pending.