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Man charged with arson after string of suspicious fires

July 6, 2021 GMT

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Officials have charged a man with one count of arson after a string of suspicious fires in Norfolk.

News outlets report that the Norfolk Fire Marshal’s Office announced the arrest of Ryan Elza, 42, on Monday. He is charged with one count of arson of an occupied dwelling. Court documents state Elza is a Norfolk Public Schools employee.

Authorities haven’t identified which of the suspicious fires they believe Elza is responsible for, but Fire Marshal Nicholas Nelson said in a press release that “further charges could be brought pending the outcome of this ongoing investigation.”

Elza is being held without bond in the Norfolk city jail without bond. Online court records show Elza is represented by a public defender, but details about a specific attorney weren’t available yet.

Residents noticed a series of fires going back more than one year. The latest was on June 11 when a family’s car and house were set ablaze.