Arson Suspect Arrested in Monrovia as Officials Investigate Series of Recent Fires

An arson suspect was arrested Thursday in Monrovia, where fire investigators are trying to determine if a series of "suspicious fires" over the past two days are connected, officials said.

Ryan Dhalliwal, 25, of Monrovia, was first identified as a person of interest Thursday morning but formally booked in the afternoon after being questioned, Monrovia fire officials said in a news release.

Dhalliwal is expected to be charged in at least one fire, involving a book-exchange station outside a library on the 700 block of West Chestnut Avenue. Authorities are still investigating three other fires, two of them involving homes.

The most recent fire was reported Thursday around midnight in the 800 block of West Walnut Avenue, Monrovia Fire Division Chief Jeremy Sanchez said.

Crews arrived to find the front porch of the home fully involved in fire, Sanchez said.

One person inside the home at the time of the fire was able to make it out after being woken up by an alarm.

“He attempted to put the fire out using an extinguisher and fortunately made it out,” Sanchez said.

Firefighters eventually doused the flames and the homeowner was treated at the scene for a minor injury, Sanchez said.

One cat was killed in the fire, which badly damaged the front of the home.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the homeowner.

About 12:37 a.m. Wednesday, crews responded to another home near the intersection of West Colorado Boulevard and Monterey Avenue, which was still under construction, caught fire and burned.

A neighboring home was also damaged and had to be red-tagged, forcing a family to be displaced as a result, Sanchez said. Some cars nearby were also damaged by the heat.

The small fire at the nearby community library that Dhalliwal is suspected in had pretty much burned itself out by the time firefighters arrived, Sanchez said.

Sanchez asked to public to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity and report it to 911. “Be our eyes out there,” he said.

In total, the property damage and content loss for the fires was estimated at over $1 million, officials said.

The investigation is still in the beginning stages with detectives from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisting the Monrovia and Los Angeles fire departments.

KTLA's Nisha Jaime and Erika Martin contributed to this story.

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