Monday, 15 July 2024

REGIONAL: Talmage man arrested for allegedly setting multiple fires

TALMAGE – On Sunday Mendocino County Sheriff's officials arrested a Talmage man who is suspected of setting several fires.


Vernon James, 40, was taken into custody and charged with arson, according to a report from Capt. Kurt Smallcomb.


At 11 p.m. Sunday a deputy was dispatched to 2501 Old River Road in Talmage in regards to a vegetation fire. Smallcomb said the deputy contacted Ukiah Valley Fire Chief Dan Grebil who was on scene.


An investigation into the fire scene revealed that the cause was believed to be suspicious in nature, Smallcomb said.


The deputy contacted James, who was standing on his porch viewing the emergency service activities. Smallcomb said the deputy had been earlier advised that James has been suspected of being involved in numerous suspicious fires, ranging from Redwood Valley – where James used to reside – to Talmage, where numerous suspicious vegetation fires have been investigated by Ukiah Valley Fire Personnel.


Smallcomb said the deputy was able to obtain a statement from James, who admitted to being responsible for the current vegetation fire. James also admitted to starting three different vegetation fires on this date by using his lighter in the dry grass.


The most recent fires were adjacent to the Caravan Mobile Home Park located on Old River Road, Smallcomb said.


James was placed under arrest and transported to the Mendocino County Jail, according to Smallcomb.


Ukiah Valley Fire Personnel along with Cal Fire and Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies continue to conduct further investigation into suspicious fires in the area which James may be responsible for, Smallcomb said.


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