DETROIT (WWJ) – A 40-year-old Detroit man stands accused of setting more than 20 fires on the city’s northeast side.

Court records show Marzein Porter was arraigned Wednesday on three counts of second-degree arson and three counts of third-degree arson in connection with alleged crimes that occurred over a two-month period.

Police Chief James Craig said tips from residents helped lead to the arrest of Porter, whom he called a “serial arsonist.”

For several weeks, Arson Task Force members and representatives of Detroit’s Department of Neighborhoods spoke with residents and gave out information about as many as 25 intentionally-set fires in both vacant and occupied homes.

According to Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones, Porter lived smack in the middle of the neighborhood where fires were set.

“The boundaries, geographical boundaries, were 8 Mile. 7 Mile, Gratiot and Hoover; we noticed a pattern,” Jones told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas and other reporters. “Actually, the first people to notice it were the firefighters who are out on the streets.”

Despite Porter’s arrest, Jones said there is much more work to be done.

“This is not a victory lap, but at least we got this dangerous offender off the streets,” Jones said. “…While he is the arsonist that we arrested, we know we still have a problem with arson, so there are other arsonists out there and we’re still investigating.”

Porter was ordered held on a $50,000 bond. A probable cause conference was set for Nov. 17 and a preliminary examination was scheduled for Nov. 22. Court records did not list a defense attorney.

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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