For the second time in a week a transient man was arrested in Novato on suspicion of arson — this time it was a string of three suspicious fires, one of which authorities say they saw him light.
As the Marin Independent Journal reports, Novato police arrested 55-year-old John Davies around 5 p.m. Monday just as other officers and firefighters were working to extinguish two of the fires he's suspected of lighting. Officers in the area say they observed Davies lighting a third fire on Front Street, and detained him on the spot.
Davies is believed to have lit a fire first on the 1500 block of Novato Boulevard, and then a second fire at Diablo Avenue and Novato Boulevard — both of which responding officers were able to contain using fire extinguishers in their vehicles, as KRON4 reports.
Davies was subsequently arrested and booked into Marin County Jail on suspicion of lighting all three fires.
Novato police issued a statement saying, "We would like to thank the Novato Fire Protection District and the community members who quickly reported the fires. Remember if you see something, say something!"
The alleged arsons came on a day when the Bay Area is on high alert for wildfires, and remains inundated with wildfire smoke from multiple directions for the fourth consecutive week. And they come just a week after another transient man, 41-year-old Vathana Khiev, was arrested in Novato for allegedly igniting a fire about 100 feet away from some homes. That fire burned about 450 square feet in the vicinity of the SMART train tracks and Slade Park.
Photo: Guido Jansen