Miami Beach police have arrested a suspect in a series of blazes over the past week in Miami Beach's Collins Park neighborhood.
Joel Paul Williams, 33, was booked Thursday morning and charged with two counts of arson in the first degree, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, burglary of an occupied structure, and criminal mischief.
Williams was taken into custody Wednesday night while his latest blaze was still raging at 1817 James Ave., according to the Miami Herald. It was the fourth blaze in the Miami Beach Neighborhood in a week.
Miami Beach's historic Collins Park neighborhood has has a rash of fires lately. This fourth fire started around 7:30 p.m. in an abandoned building at 1817 James Ave. The property was built in the 1950s as a hotel and was recently vacated along with three other adjacent buildings for a planned renovation.
This blaze comes in the wake of three other fires in the immediate area. On February 9, a building at 420 21st Street burned, This past Monday, February 14, the Collins Plaze Hotel at 318 20th Street burned and on February 15, the building at 435 20th Street burned. Two of the four buildings burned were owned by the same developer.
Fire at 1817 James Ave.
Photo by Laine Doss
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Fire crews were on hand to investigate Tuesday's fire. The City of Miami Beach held a press conference earlier today regarding the fires. No arrests have been made so far. See exclusive footage of this blazing inferno below.