(vallejo) Times-Herald Staff
BENICIA - A Benicia Fire Department volunteer was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of arson, police said.
The first of the three fires was reported at 10:33 p.m. Saturday on Cambridge Drive, near Capitol Drive, police said.
Before firefighters arrived, a passerby had extinguished the fire, which was "possibly started with tissue paper," police said.
Less than an hour later, police and firefighters were again dispatched to a fire scene on Reservoir Road.
At the scene, it was determined that two fires had been started about 20 yards from each other, and tissue paper was again found at the fire origins, police said.
A witness reported seeing a sedan leaving the area.
At about 1:11 a.m., Sunday, a citizen called to report suspicious activity at 3300 Park Road.
The caller said a man was seen along the fence of a business, and ran from the scene when he realized the caller was observing him, police said.
Again, officers found wadded up pieces of tissue paper in the area, which was consistent with those found at the previous two fire scenes, police added.
Police searched the area and an officer found the man, identified as Robert McKinley, 23, in the parking lot of Alex's Automotive at 3190 Bayshore Road.
McKinley was by his vehicle that had a flat tire, police also observed black soot and ash on his hands, shoes and face, police said.
Police then asked to search his vehicle, where they allegedly located several items of evidence that linked him to the fires, police said.
McKinley was arrested and his vehicle was towed for evidence, police added.
Police later learned that McKinley is a Benicia Fire Department volunteer.
He was booked into Solano County jail on two counts of arson and an attempted arson felony charges.