Times Standard (Eureka)

Eureka man arrested on suspicion of setting fires


Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to an alarm call at G&C Auto Body at 51 Kunzler Ranch Road in Ukiah, just before 11 p.m. Friday.

Shortly after, an alarm company called into the business and a man answered the phone stating he needed help.

When deputies arrived, they observed apparent evidence that someone had broken into the business. Deputies could also see at least five separate small fires inside.

They also observed a man, later identified as Benjamin Dimmick, 26, of Eureka, standing inside the business next to the fires, attempting to light another fire, the MCSO reported.

The MCSO stated that Dimmick had barricaded some of the doors and refused to come to the front door when asked to do so. Dimmick had locked himself inside the business and was refusing all verbal requests to comply.

Deputies had to force their way into the burning building while trying to apprehend Dimmick, who was ultimately taken into custody and pulled out of the burning building which quickly filled with heavy smoke as the fire began to spread.

Deputies deployed their fire extinguish­ers in an attempt to extinguish the fire until Ukiah Valley firefighte­rs arrived on scene for further suppressio­n efforts.

While on scene, deputies learned Dimmick had just been involved in a nearby hit-and-run incident which was currently being investigat­ed by the California Highway Patrol (Ukiah Office).

An arson investigat­or from the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority arrived on scene and assisted with further scene investigat­ions.

During the investigat­ions, Dimmick was placed under arrest on suspicion of five counts of felony arson and burglary. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail, where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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