BY JAMIE BLOCK AND ERIC CHIU
Daily Staff Reporters
Published July 28, 2009
The person University officials believe tried to set fire to West Quad has been arrested.
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LSA senior Timothy James Burke was arraigned on July 27 for arson of a Dwelling House. He was later released on a personal bond.
According to an e-mail statement released by the University Department of Public Safety, there is reason to believe 26-year-old Burke set the fire to frighten another student with whom he was in an argument over a drug deal. The intended target, however, did not live in the area of the fire.
The small fire, which was set in a hallway on the lower level of West Quad, temporarily displaced 20 students and caused a full evacuation of the residence hall.
No students were injured, though University Housing Spokesman Peter Logan said the fire cost the University $12,000 to $13,000 in clean-up and repair expenses.
DPS Spokeswoman Diane Brown said that, while the investigation eventually pointed towards Burke, the department is still actively looking into the case.
"We'll continue to investigate the newer leads and newer aspects of this investigation that had come to light in recent days that got us to the point of having probable cause to (arrest) Burke and be able to have him charged, but that doesn't mean that the investigation stops," Brown said.
Burke was released on personal bond and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary examination on Aug. 5. If convicted, Burke faces up to 20 years in prison.
Because of the arrest, the Department of Public Safety has canceled its crime alert for the March 26 arson attempt in West Quad.