Officials: Arson Suspect In Custody After Investigators Release Photos To Media

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The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office Deputies have taken into custody and charged Thomas Loftis III with Arson in the 2nd degree, Burglary in the 2nd degree, and Criminal Mischief for the fire that caused significant damage to The Reach Church in Bear, DE. on Monday evening, officials said Thursday. At this time Deputies are awaiting his arraignment and bail has not been set.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to acknowledge and give credit to the news media for publishing the pictures on social media and the public for the tips that led to the quick apprehension of the suspect.

Update

The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office is asking for the publics’ help in identifying a person of interest in relation to the fire at The Reach Church in Bear.

Anyone who may know this individual or the vehicle is urged to call The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office New Castle Division at 323-5375 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-TIP-3333

NCC Paramedics

Original Story

The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that last night’s building fire in Bear, DE was Arson, according to Delaware State Fire Marshal Chief Deputy Robert Fox .

Fox said the Aetna Hose, Hook, and Ladder Company of Newark was alerted to a fire alarm in the 2800 block of Summit Bridge Road, The Reach Church, shortly before 11:00 pm. Upon the arrival of the Fire Department they found smoke and fire conditions within the sanctuary and quickly upgraded the fire alarm to a building fire. Several neighboring companies were alerted to respond to assist.

Deputies from the State Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene to conduct an investigation. The investigation revealed that multiple fires originated inside of the Sanctuary and were caused by an unknown subject igniting combustible material.

No one was injured in the fire. The fire caused approximately $250,000 in damages. Anyone with information in reference to this incident is urged to call the Delaware State Fire Marshal New Castle Division at 323-5375 or crimestoppers at 1-800-tip-3333.

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