Hank Sims / @ 7:49 a.m. / Crime

One Man Badly Injured in Arcata Church Arson Fire Last Night; Police Seeking Suspect Who Lit Flammable Substance Where Victim Was Sleeping


Photo: John Ferrara.

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From the Arcata Police Department:

On 9-16-17 at 2103 hours, Officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to assist the Arcata Fire Department with a structure fire at the Presbyterian Church located on G St at 11th St. Upon the officer’s arrival, they located a 28-year-old male victim with severe burns to his head and hands. The investigation revealed that the man had been sleeping on the steps of the church when the suspect ignited a flammable substance in the area of the steps. The sleeping man was quickly engulfed in fire. The victim woke and made his way to the street, where Good Samaritans assisted in extinguishing the fire from the victim’s person.  

The suspect was seen fleeing the church eastbound on 11th St. He is described as a possible Hispanic Male with short brown hair. He was last seen wearing a grey sweatshirt and grey jeans.

The victim was transported to the Mad River Hospital, where he is listed in serious but stable condition. The victim is expected to be transported to an out of the area burn center later today.

Any witnesses to the incident are encouraged to contact the police department.


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