Man arrested after 3 arson fires set in Pierce County

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MIDLAND — A man was arrested and a church was destroyed after three suspected arson fires were set in Pierce County early Thursday.

Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer says a 30-year-old man is in custody after officers caught him attempting to break into a house near where the three fires were set. The man was leaving the area when fire crews were arrived. Troyer says fire crews got a good look at the suspect. He says they think the man was attempting to hide from authorities when he was caught breaking into an occupied home.

Troyer says fires were set to a car and an abandoned house. He adds initial estimates of the damage to the church are a $1 million.

The suspect is now being interviewed by detectives. The fires broke out after midnight Thursday.