Columbia Police say man admits to setting six fires downtown
COLUMBIA - According to the Columbia Police Department, officers arrested a Columbia man Monday morning who admitted to setting several fires near downtown over the weekend.
Between early Sunday and his arrest Monday morning, police said 54-year-old Willis Stokes admitted to lighting six fires near downtown Columbia. The incidents included three bulletin board fires, two trash fires and a grass fire.
Police said the Sunday fires were at 820 East Broadway, 911 East Ash Street, 220 North Tenth Street, the area of Ninth Street and Cherry Street and 101 South Fourth Street. They said the Monday fire was in the area of Eighth Street and Broadway (see map below).
The report said a witness saw Stokes setting fire to the bulletin board at Eighth Street and Broadway Monday morning.
Police said Stokes admitted to setting all the fires.
Officers arrested Stokes on suspicion of six counts of felony knowingly burning with a bond of $27,000 and also for an active warrant for misdemeanor assault with a bond of $10,000.