VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A suspect accused of starting a dumpster fire that damaged three downtown businesses on Sunday evening has been arrested, according to the Visalia Police Department.
Officials say 56-year-old Jessie Hager has been identified as the person who started a fire in a dumpster behind Alejandra’s Restaurant near Main and Floral streets.
Around 4:30 p.m., crews from the Visalia Fire Department responded to the restaurant after several people called 911 to report a fire.
When firefighters arrived, they found heavy flames coming from the restaurant, just a couple of doors down from the historic Visalia Fox Theater.
The intense flames then spread from the restaurant to the rooftops of a nearby Jimmy John’s and a jewelry store, causing heavy damage to both businesses.
Hager was booked into the Tulare County jail on two counts of arson of an inhabited dwelling, one count of arson of a structure, and one count of arson of property.
Officials say Hager may be facing more charges related to the fire as the investigation continues.
Anyone with information about this fire is asked to call Detective Peterson at (559) 713-4101.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact the anonymous tip line at (559) 713-4738.