Columbia man arrested in city hall restroom fire

10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Monday, November 26 2018 Nov 26, 2018 Monday, November 26, 2018 3:35:00 PM CST November 26, 2018 in Top Stories
By: Caroline Watkins, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - City Hall was evacuated Monday morning after someone set a fire in one of its first-floor bathrooms, authorities said.

Firefighters arrived at the scene at approximately 11:20 a.m., according to a press release from the Columbia Police Department. The release said that crews were directed to a first-floor men's bathroom, where they found a small fire in a toilet paper holder attached to the wall.

The firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which is estimated to have caused around $1,000 in damages, according to the release.

Willis Daniel Stokes III, 58, of Columbia, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson, according to the release.

The release also said that officers found that Stokes had an outstanding municipal warrant at the time of his arrest.

Employees were allowed back into the building around noon, but a strong smell of smoke was still present.

There were no reported injuries during the incident and arrest, according to the release.

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