GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Police in Grants Pass arrested a man on Thursday night after he intentionally started a fire next to the Goodwill parking lot, according to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.
Around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night, dispatch received a 911 call reporting that a large tree and shrubs were on fire along NE Beacon Drive, adjacent to the Goodwill Thrift Shop parking lot at 346 NE Beacon. Police and firefighters responded, arriving to find the tree "was fully involved and flames were about 50 feet high."
Authorities briefly shut down the roadway, and firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire. GPDPS said that the tree and surrounding landscaping plants were a total loss.
Officers continued an investigation into the fire, using security camera footage to discover how it started. They were soon able to determine that the fire had been intentionally set, finding the suspect still in the 300-block of NE Beacon Drive.
The suspect was identified as 35-year-old Jeremy Mellow of Grants Pass. He was taken into custody and lodged in the Josephine County Jail on a charge of Arson in the Second Degree. GPDPS said that more charges could follow.
"We want to thank Goodwill for providing us with video that led to the identification of the suspect. Video from businesses and residences can be an excellent source of information for our officers and detectives," the agency said.
Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to call the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety at (541) 450-6260 and reference case # 21-32267.
"We would like to remind citizens any fire poses a risk to the city, and all illegal fires will be fully investigated," GPDPS concluded.