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Weekend fires lead to arrest

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A Kentucky man who was seen at two weekend fires is accused of intentionally setting one of them.

Ricky D. Lovins, 54, of Woodstock, Kentucky, was arrested on a preliminary charge of arson as a Level 6 felony.

At 6:47 a.m. Saturday, firefighters noticed that Lovins was watching them as they put out a dumpster fire in the 500 block of Jackson Street, Columbus Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said.

The fire was near the northwest corner of the Cummins Inc. world headquarters building.

A firefighter saw Lovins at the Cummins fire and remembered seeing him about four hours earlier at a fire about nine blocks away, Myers said.

Lovins also watched firefighters put out a fire in a parked 2000 Chevrolet Impala on the east side of downtown, Myers said.

The 2:54 a.m. incident was on Fourth Street, just east of Pearl Street, according to firefighters.

After firefighters and Cummins security called Columbus police to report the Kentucky man’s suspicious behavior, officers arrived and found Lovins one block from the trash bin, Myers said.

After questioning, Lovins was arrested on a charge of starting the trash fire, Myers said.

Firefighters could not determine what sparked the car fire, which was near St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Columbus fire investigator Matt Noblitt said. Although arson is suspected in the trash fire, he said the cause of each fire is still undetermined.

Lovins was placed on a 48-hour hold in the Bartholomew County Jail. As of late Monday morning, he was being held in lieu of $200,000 bond, jail officials said.

Under new state felony classifications, a conviction on a Level 6 felony carries a sentence of six months to two years imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.

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