Accused arsonist arrested for Main Street fire in Hillsboro

Washington County

A 4-alarm fire decimated businesses on Hillsboro’s Main Street on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (PMG Photo/Jaime Valdez)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A person has been arrested and charged with igniting the sprawling fire in downtown Hillsboro Sunday morning that impacted 20 or more businesses on Main Street, officials announced Thursday.

Hillsboro police said Leon was also arrested for starting fires in two nearby vehicles on the same day the Main Street fire scorched the Weil Arcade building. (Courtesy/HPD)

Police said 34-year-old Roel Leon of Hillsboro was arrested and charged with arson in the Main Street fire and others he set to nearby vehicles on the same day. Leon was also charged in connection with a downtown Hillsboro burglary that occurred on Dec. 4, according to the Hillsboro Police Department.

The downtown Hillsboro fire’s first 911 call came in around 2:45 a.m. Sunday. Firefighters responded within minutes to the Weil Arcade building on East Main Street, and within half an hour, Hillsboro Fire and Rescue said the blaze had fully involved the structure.

Flames punctured the roof of the historic arcade building, “a pretty long building that stretches across from the south to the north on the block,” said Hillsboro Fire & Rescue’s Piseth Pich. “It got upgraded very quickly from first-alarm all the way to four-alarm within probably 15 minutes.”

Pich said there may have been two dozen business suites in the building.

Fire officials said it will take some time to get an accurate assessment of the damage, but they have not given a number of confirmed businesses that burned down completely.

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