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Police charge man with intentionally setting fires

A 21-year-old man has been arrested and accused of intentionally setting three fires in South Charlotte earlier this month.

Zackery Conrad McGaha is charged with two counts of first-degree arson, two counts of carelessness with fire and damage to property in connection with four separate incidents, which all happened on Jan. 15.

The first two fires happened at different spots on Ballantyne Commons Parkway about two hours apart. In both cases, brush was set on fire. Firefighters put out both fires before they could cause any major damage, but a fire investigator was called to the scenes and determined the blazes were intentionally set.

While investigators were looking into the brush fires, someone called 911 about a structure fire on Otter Creek Drive, about a tenth of a mile away. Two apartment doors had been set on fire and were damaged.

Someone had ignited dried Christmas wreaths that were hanging on the doors, according to police. Both apartments had people inside when the fires were started.

Nearby, police say, a man reported that his vehicle window has been smashed out by someone who fled the scene.

Police didn’t say how they identified McGaha as a suspect, but they obtained warrants for his arrest and we was taken into custody on Monday.

He was being held in Mecklenburg County jail in lieu of $53,000 bail.

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