COLUMBIA, MS (WHLT) – The Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s office and Columbia Police Department have charged a Columbia man for allegedly setting two homes and one business on fire.
The first fire happened September 12, 2015. Firefighters responded to 1206 Broad Street. Three people lived in the home, but no one was present at the time of the fire.
Officials tell us while they were fighting the fire, they found areas that looked purposefully set. According to Detective Bobby Patterson with Columbia Police Department, an arson investigation was then opened.
Once again, firefighters responded to a house fire on September 19, 2015.
Detective Patterson says round 8:47 p.m., the Columbia FD was dispatched to a home at 807 Central Avenue.
Less than an hour later, around 9:25 p.m. firefighters were called to put out flames at Car Connection of Columbia, located at 1210 Broad Street.
“During the investigation it was determined that Jason Parker, of Columbia, was a suspect surrounding both arsons on September 19th, as well as the arson on September 12th,” said Patterson.
Parker was arrested Sunday, near Car Connection of Columbia.
According to Detective Patterson, Parker was fired from Azteca Mexican Restaurant the morning of September 12th.
The home burned on 1206 Broad Street is owned by the restaurant. Officials believe that is could be the motive behind the first fire.
The other home and business is not owned by the restaurant, and officials have not determined a motive just yet.
Parker was arrested and charged with 4 counts of arson. His bond is set at $20,000 for each count.