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Laundry room fire led to the arrest of a suspected serial arsonist

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Indianapolis, Indiana – One man is charged with arson after it is alleged that he purposefully started a fire inside a building while observing from a distance. It’s not his first time, though.

Marquis Williams was charged with arson for the third time in four months after witnesses claimed he set fire to a building within the Rosedale Hills apartment complex on Tuesday morning.

Moses Collins, a resident, remembers seeing Marquis Williams, who neighbors claim is known to sleep there, sitting in the laundry room before he left for work.

“Later that day, I got a call from my wife saying the apartment was on fire,” Collins said.

Investigators discovered right away that it was not an accident. According to court records, Marquis Williams was seen observing the structure from the parking lot of a gas station across the street. Then, four lighters, matches, a metal glass break, and a bracket were taken from him by detectives.

“He actually had the key to the fire extinguisher so really, he was more or less sitting back and wanting to see the fire kick up and actually see us, the whole apartment complex – catch on fire,” Collins said.

While smoke emerged from the laundry area, two inhabitants used water to douse the flames, even though there was no fire extinguisher there. The other residents were sound sleeping.

“I was so worried and nervous because this whole apartment complex could’ve been burned down,” resident Felicia Lately said.

Gracia heard her room’s alarms lately, but I didn’t learn what was going on until later that day.

“It was scary. I’m just glad that she and the other neighbor caught it in time, they were able to subdue him and the police came and got him,” Lately said.

Marquis Williams is additionally accused of igniting a wood pile in front of a petrol station in July. He was detained for setting a liquor store on fire less than a month later, and the most current court records state that, “watching it from across the street just like he did during this present incident.”

In the August case, Williams entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to probation. Williams is accused of repeatedly breaking his probation in court filings.

“We all were shocked. The wife and I were shocked, and everybody was shocked,” Collins added. “Now we’re really keeping a close eye out for different ones like that.”

 

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