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Man Arrested On Arson Charges After Series Of Fires Erupt In San Rafael Canal Neighborhood

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) -- A man was arrested Thursday after several fires erupted in San Rafael's Canal neighborhood early Thursday, the largest was a one-alarm blaze at an apartment complex near the San Rafael Yacht Harbor where the man lived, police said.

San Rafael firefighters said they received 911 calls reporting the apartment fire near the yacht harbor at 5:45 a.m. at 95 Medway Rd. The fire was one of six separate fires reported in the area within the same hour beginning at around 5:15 a.m.

The fire was limited to one unoccupied unit at the complex and there was nobody hurt. People evacuated from the apartment complex as a precaution were all able to return to their units.

San Rafael police and fire established a command post in the Canal Neighborhood to search for 42-year-old James Thomas Duffy of San Rafael as a person of interest in the case. The Marin County Fire Investigations Team also responded to assist as did the Marin County Sheriff's drone unit to search for Duffy.

Duffy was found around 11:15 a.m. on the 600 block of Magnolia Avenue in Larkspur and was booked into the Marin County Jail for five counts of felony arson and one count of felony arson to an inhabited dwelling.

San Rafael police said fire crews also worked to put out additional fires nearby at dumpsters and debris piles on Bellam Boulevard, Hoag Street, Canal Street and Larkspur Street.

The fires forced the closure of several streets in the area.

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