Police arrest man accused of arson in Palm Springs

Several fires ignited within 15 minutes

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A 49-year-old man has been arrested for arson, suspected of setting at least eight dumpster fires in Palm Springs and damaging a church in one case.

James Banlaki was already behind bars in Riverside Wednesday on unrelated charges, police said.

Video of fire aftermath

James Banlaki was being held in the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on unspecified drug allegations, Palm Springs police Sgt. Harvey Reed said.

After a joint investigation by the Palm Springs Police Department and Palm Springs Fire Department, investigators determined Banlaki was responsible for setting the fires on April 8.

Officers went to the detention center on Wednesday at 11 a.m. and charged Banlaki with 12 counts of arson.

Bail for Banlaki was set at $105,000.

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