LOWELL -- A 24-year-old city man was charged by police with arson after he was accused of using a lighter to set two early-morning fires on Thursday in the city's downtown.
Andres Ortiz-Arroyo, of 43 Whipple St., is facing charges of arson, burning a dwelling and domestic assault and battery. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Lowell District Court.
Lowell police say the that at12:40 a.m. Wednesday, a fire was reported at 602-604 Central St., a business with apartments on the upper floors. Less than two hours later, at 1:45 a.m., another fire was reported at an apartment building at 49 Wamesit St.
Security video from Central Street fire shows a man dressed in red pacing in fright of the store, then he enters the alley between the buildings, then abruptly leaves. Afterward, a fire erupts. Police recognized the man on the video as Ortiz-Arroyo from a previous arson investigation.
Police learned that before the two fires, Ortiz-Arroyo was involved in a domestic situation on Lawrence Street in which he is accused of punching his girlfriend several times.
When interviewed by police, Ortiz-Arroyo allegedly admitted to police he set both fires by using a lighter, which he he later discarded, to set trash on fire outside the buildings.
When asked why he set the fires endangering anyone inside, Ortiz-Arroyo allegedly told police he was "mad at the world"" and has serious anger issues.
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