Suspected Serial Arsonist Arrested, Accused of Setting More Than 20 Fires in Dallas

The suspect, 31-year-old Rondarrious Campbell, was arrested after setting a dumpster fire in Downtown Dallas

DFR ambulance
NBC 5 News

A Dallas man has been charged with felony arson after an investigation into a series of small fires by Dallas Fire-Rescue.

According to Dallas Fire Rescue, units were dispatched to a 911 call regarding a dumpster fire at 1408 Elm Street, near the CVS in Downtown Dallas, on Saturday at approximately 11:23 p.m.

Officials said when firefighters arrived at the scene, they found large dumpster on fire and began working to extinguish the blaze.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire without incident, and a suspect was taken into custody at the scene.

Dallas Fire-Rescue
The suspect, 31-year-old Rondarrious Campbell, was arrested after setting a dumpster fire in Downtown Dallas.

According to Dallas Fire-Rescue, what seemed like just another dumpster fire was in fact the culmination of weeks of hard work by the Fire Investigation Division.

On April 19, fire investigators said they began to believe they were dealing with an arsonist after two small fires were set at 1800 Main Street and 325 North St. Paul Street within 15 minutes of each other.

After multiple small fires and hours of examining evidence on April 24, Dallas Fire-Rescue said they confirmed that they had a serial arsonist on their hands.

The suspect, identified through surveillance video as man between the ages of 20 and 35, had been seen multiple times wearing red tennis shoes with a white stripe, a long-sleeve shirt or hoodie with an Adidas logo on one sleeve, and a grayish-blue backpack.

Investigators said they determined that the arsonist was focusing on areas in Northwest Dallas near Harry Hines Boulevard, the Medical District, and Downtown Dallas.

According to Dallas Fire-Rescue, investigators called the Dallas Police Department's Central Critical Response Team to help apprehend the suspect.

After examining the fire pattern, video evidence, and the description of the suspect, a plan was developed for both Dallas Fire-Rescue and the Critical Response Team to monitor radio traffic for fire-related incidents near the DART rail line in the areas that seemed to be frequented by the arsonist.

Dallas Fire-Rescue said their efforts paid off when the same person, now confirmed to be 31-year-old Rondarrious Campbell, was detained by the Critical Response Team near the scene of the Elm Street dumpster fire and later arrested.

After conducting an in-custody interview, investigators were able to charge Campbell with a felony arson for a fire he set on April 23 at 2920 Inwood Road, Dallas Fire-Rescue said.

According to Dallas Fire-Rescue, because Campbell is suspected in setting as many as 21 fires between April 8 and April 24, more charges are expected.

While many of the fires involved trash, dumpsters, vegetation, and other combustibles, eight of the fires involved structures.

Dallas Fire-Rescue said no injuries were reported in any of the fires.

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