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Fairbanks man charged with arson after fire set at homeless shelter

Fairbanks police arrested a man who has been charged with arson following a fire at the Fairbanks Rescue Mission on Saturday.
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 5:30 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - Fairbanks police arrested a man who has been charged with arson following a fire at the Fairbanks Rescue Mission on Saturday.

According to an email from Fairbanks Communications Director Teal Soden, the Fairbanks Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at approximately 1:45 p.m. on Saturday. Police also responded, as a second report came in from the building that the fire had been set intentionally.

According to the email, 20-year-old Jedidiah Chace was arrested and charged with first-degree arson. The email stated that approximately 115 people were evacuated due to the fire, and that $100,000 in both fire and water damages were caused.

The Fairbanks Rescue Mission provides an emergency homeless shelter as well as meals and programs to help people transition out of homelessness. According to its website, Fairbanks Rescue Mission is the only overnight emergency shelter for men, women and children in Interior Alaska.

According to the email, the fire was extinguished in minutes and the fire marshal investigated with Fairbanks police.

“The investigation revealed that multiple fires had been started on the male dorm side of the building,” police wrote in the email. “One fire was set in a laundry bin upstairs, six mattresses had been set on fire in a dorm room, and a fire had been started in a trash can in the men’s restroom.”

According to online court records, Chace was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief for tampering with a fire protection device on April 13, just three days before the fire at Fairbanks Rescue Mission.

The email states that Chace was seen on surveillance video near the laundry bin and exiting the dorm room before the fire alarm was triggered. Chace was also reported by an employee to be staying in the dorm room that had been set on fire.

According to online court records, Chace was arraigned in Fairbanks Court on Monday.

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