Man Arrested in Connection to String of Fires in Fillmore: Ventura Sheriff

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A man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of arson in connection to a string of fires at different locations in the city of Fillmore, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said.

Eric Manzano, 32, appears in an undated photo provided by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office on March 4, 2019.
Eric Manzano, 32, appears in an undated photo provided by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office on March 4, 2019.

Eric Manzano, 32, was determined by authorities to be “responsible for setting at least one fire” at the Fillmore Historical Society on 350 Main Street, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Surveillance footage caught a man approaching the building at around 3:30 a.m. and attempting to light a fire at different spots in the building, according to authorities.

A few hours later, a deputy saw Manzano, identified him as the man in the video and called detectives who searched Manzano and found items that linked him to the fire, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Manzano was also found to be under the influence of “a controlled substance” and in possession of drug paraphernalia, authorities said.

The suspect was being held on one felony count of arson and two misdemeanor drug related charges. His bail was set at $200,000, according to public arrest records.

Between December last year and March, there was a string of  fires to trash cans, portable toilets, a shopping cart and three structures in the city. All the fires started during the late night and early morning hours and resulted in minor damage. The incidents were all deemed suspicious in nature, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Manzano was a suspect in the other fires, which were still under investigation, authorities said.

The Fillmore Police Department was looking for additional information on the fires that erupted throughout the city.

Anyone with information was encouraged to contact detectives at 805-947-9391.

Crime Stoppers was offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and a criminal complaint against the person responsible for the fires. The organization can be reached at 800-222-TIPS. Callers can choose to remain anonymous, a news release said.

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