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Arrest Made In Series Of Suspicious Fires In Monrovia

MONROVIA (CBSLA)  -- A suspect was arrested Thursday for a series of suspicious fires in Monrovia.

Investigators are trying to determine if the fires are linked.

CBS2's Randy Paige reports there were four fires in the past two days.

The first was a small fire in an empty field. The second was inside a small book lending box. The third located at a two-story house under construction. It was burned to the ground.

The fire spread to the house next door. Two people got out safely.

Just after midnight Wednesday, Dave Mann's home was next.

He told Paige he was lucky to be alive. He woke to the sound of his smoke alarm. Mann came out of his bedroom to find the front window sill on fire.

Moments later, he said flames were everywhere. He ran outside just in time.

Today, looking into his living room he was in tears. He lived in the home for 30 years.

His wife was out of town and he was grateful about that. The fact he doesn't have renter's insurance, not so much. He doesn't know what he will do or where he will go -- or what he will do next.

Mann was too devastated to talk to Paige on camera.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help Mann get back on his feet.

Monrovia Police say a suspect has been arrested on suspicion of setting the fire in the library drop box.

Eddie Chavesta lives right across the street from Mann's house.

"Can't keep watch if it's random. I don't know what the person's looking for or if he has certain targets," Chavesta says.

Martha Maldonado is another neighbor who hopes police aren't dealing with an arsonist.

"It's sad. It does concern me, it's kind of scary." she said.

The suspect has been identified as Ryan Dhalliwal, 25.

Police said they have not yet linked him to the three other fires including the two that destroyed homes.

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