Man arrested for string of fires in Beacon Hill greenbelt, ‘Jungle’ homeless area

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SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities are investigating a series of fires set in and around a Seattle homeless encampment along Interstate 5 known as the Jungle.

The Seattle Fire Department said on Twitter investigators have determined that eight fires, including one in a vacant building Monday afternoon were intentionally set.

Seattle Police Capt. Paul McDonagh said Monday evening five initial fires were started, with three blazes spotted later in the day near Jose Rizal Park, prompting a large police response and search for a suspect.

The fires closed a portion of Dearborn Street for hours while firefighters extinguished the blazes.

Seattle Police later said they had arrested a man, based on witnesses description, in Seattle's International District for the fires near Jose Rizal Park, but detectives are continuing to investigate the earlier fires as well.

Seattle and state officials are working on plans to move some 150 people out of the longstanding unsanctioned camp after a January shooting killed two people and wounded three others.

The shooting brought renewed attention to the area and came as Seattle wrestled with how to deal with increasing numbers of homeless people.

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