Police Arrest Suspect in Church Fire

| March 9, 2010

EUGENE, Ore.–After four days of searching for a suspected arsonist, Eugene police have made an arrest.

Police arrested 31-year-old Mathew Wayne Rossi. Police said Rossi was under the Eugene Faith Center rolling up newspapers and had several lighters with him.

The Faith Center has been the target of 3 of the 8 reported arsons. Police are still investigating whether Rossi is responsible for the series of arsons that have been reported since Friday. Rossi faces charges of arson, burglary and assault.

On Friday March 5th, a fire broke out at the Wetlands Brew Pub. Then Saturday night around 8 o'clock a fire damaged the Eugene Faith Center. Early Sunday morning, the construction site of St. Vincent De Paul's apartment complex was hit.

This string of fires now has Eugene Police responding to each call, right along with firefighters.

Eugene Police Officer, Sean Dillon said, "The fact that there's so many, that fact that there's no real cause, we can't say electrical, they can't say a cigarette in a bed. They're all on the outsides of the buildings, which definitely is suspicious."

The number of fires isn't just taxing on EPD. It also plays a role in how quickly and diligently firefighters can respond to a scene and extinguish the flames.

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Category: Church Security

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