Homeless man accused of Ashland arson

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ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Ashland police have accused a homeless man of setting fire to businesses in the town's central Plaza, sending residents of upstairs apartments clambering over rooftops to safety.

Police say they booked 37-year-old Raymond Lee Wilson on arson and other charges after the fire early Monday morning.

An officer spotted the fire in a stairwell, and firefighters contained it within minutes. Police helped residents of two apartments escape. Business operators said repairs will take weeks, if not months.

Police also accused Wilson of breaking windows at two nearby businesses and stealing items. He was held on $1.1 million bail.

The Ashland Daily Tidings (http://bit.ly/GAC13j ) said other homeless people reported Wilson arrived in Ashland about three weeks ago and then complained over the weekend that his backpack and medications had been stolen.

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Information from: The Ashland Daily Tidings, http://www.dailytidings.com