Grass Valley police arrest suspect in multiple arson fires |

Grass Valley police arrest suspect in multiple arson fires

A Grass Valley man suspected of setting three separate fires in the Litton Drive area within minutes of each other earlier this month remained in custody Thursday on $10,000 bond, authorities said.

Dylan Thomas Murphy, 29, faces three counts of arson of property, Nevada County Jail reports state.

Police arrested Murphy earlier this week on accusations he set fires on Oct. 12, authorities said.

Grass Valley police responded after 8 p.m. that day to a 911 call about a small fire on the side of the road between East Main Street and Litton Drive. They were able to extinguish that blaze with a fire extinguisher, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Dan Kimbrough.

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While extinguishing that fire, a pedestrian notified officers of a second, larger vegetation fire near Litton Drive that required the assistance of Grass Valley firefighters, Kimbrough said. A third fire was reported by yet another pedestrian, behind the 100 block of Litton Drive. That fire also was extinguished by firefighters.

According to dispatch reports, about 30 minutes after the first incident, a caller from a cigarette store in the 1100 block of East Main Street reported a man had been there and said, “I lit the woods on fire.” He knocked over an ashtray before leaving on foot.

The suspect was identified through witness descriptions as Murphy. A be-on-the-lookout advisory was issued, Kimbrough said.

Murphy was spotted around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday by a Nevada City police officer at a Hollow Way gas station and taken into custody, Kimbrough said.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4236.

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