Arson suspect arrested for Weil Arcade fire in downtown Hillsboro
Police say they have arrested a Hillsboro resident suspected of arson in connection with a massive four-alarm fire Sunday morning, Jan. 2, at the Weil Arcade in downtown Hillsboro.
Roel Leon, 34, was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 5, for setting a fire at the Weil Arcade, Hillsboro Police Department officials said in a statement Thursday afternoon, Jan. 6.
Police said Hillsboro Fire & Rescue officials are still working to determine the official cause of the fire.
Leon is also suspected of two other arsons committed on two nearby vehicles the same day as the fire at the Weil Arcade, police said.
Additionally, police suspect Leon committed a burglary in downtown Hillsboro on Dec. 4, officials said.
Leon was arraigned Thursday before Washington County Circuit Judge Chris Colburn. Initial charges for Leon include three counts of second-degree arson and two counts of second-degree burglary, court records show.
A preliminary court hearing for Leon has been set for Thursday, Jan. 13.
Leon has an extensive criminal history, having been convicted of multiple felony and misdemeanor crimes dating back to 2006.
In October 2020, Leon was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon, records show.
According to court records, Leon was sentenced to 16 months in prison following the conviction, with credit for time served, with two years of post-prison supervision. Leon was also ordered to undergo alcohol and mental health treatment.
Firefighters first arrived at the scene shortly before 3 a.m Sunday after a police officer patrolling the area and multiple 9-1-1 callers reported smoke coming out of the Weil Arcade, located at 231 E. Main St.
The blaze, which fire officials say started in the front of the building, was quickly upgraded to a first-alarm fire to bring in additional resources.
It was upgraded multiple times in short succession, ultimately being designated as a four-alarm fire, bringing in more than 130 first responders from fire agencies throughout Washington County and Portland.
For more than eight and a half hours, firefighters battled the blaze, containing it to the Weil Arcade.
The fire displaced eight businesses, destroying their storefront locations at the Weil Arcade building.
Heat, smoke and copious amounts of water used to fight the fire impacted many other businesses on Main Street.
The Hillsboro Police Department, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives convened a task force shortly after the fire was contained to investigate the case, police said.
No other information has been released at this time.Â
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