Sacto 9-1-1
August 29, 2013
Man accused of arson in Sacramento school, park fires

RUSSELL, DOUGLAS-37.jpgA 37-year-old man has been arrested in connection with fires at schools and parks in the southern part of the city of Sacramento.

Sacramento Fire Department investigators on Wednesday arrested Douglas Russell on suspicion of arson.

Since late June, the department has responded to a series of fires at schools and associated parks. They included fires involving debris and personal property at YPS Academy, 7555 S. Land Park Drive; a trash can and bench fire at Parkway Oaks Park 7541 S. Land Park Drive; and playground structure fires at John Sloat Elementary School, 7527 Candlewood Way and Caroline Wenzel Elementary School, 6870 Greenhaven Drive.

Fire investigators determined that the fires were deliberately set and classified them as crimes, according to a Fire Department news release.

On Aug. 9, investigators interviewed Russell after they obtained video footage of him allegedly setting a debris fie on the campus of YPS Academy the evening of July 30. Officials said Russell provided investigators with details of a July 25 fire involving personal property at the school.

Russell was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of arson of property. He was released on bail Aug. 11.

On Aug. 14, fire investigators again interviewed Russell and reported that he provided them with details of other fires that were deliberately set, including a trash can and bench fire on July 23 at the Parkway Oaks Park and a playground structure July 31 at John Sloat Elementary School.

Tuesday, fire investigators in conjunction with the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office obtained a warrant for Russell's arrest. Fire investigators and Sacramento police officers took him into custody Wednesday.

Russell is accused of two counts of arson of property and is being held in the Sacramento County Main Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Fire officials urge anyone with information pertaining to any case of arson to call the Sacramento Fire Department Tip Line at (916) 808-8732 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information.

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