Man seen on surveillance video starting Lowell fires


LOWELL, Mass. ( -- Police say that a man admitted to starting two fires Wednesday morning after police showed him a photo of himself close to where one of them started in Lowell.

Andre Ortiz Arroyo is charged with two counts of arson and a separate charge of domestic assault and battery. You can see him on surveillance video pacing in front of a store on Central Street. He enters an alley at 8:50 a.m. for a few seconds, then walks away.

The fire started in that alley shortly after and damaged the side of the building at 604 Central St.

That fire was around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday morning, and it was just about an hour later when a second fire was reported at an apartment building on Wamesit Street. That fire did some significant damage to the inside of the building..

Police say Ortiz Arroyo also punched his girlfriend several times before the fires. Court paperwork says he admitted to police he set both with a lighter. When asked why he started the fires, he told police he was "mad at the world" and had serious anger issues.

Police were able to track him down thanks to that surveillance video turned over by a store owner on Central Street.

Store owner Val Souto said, "My first thing in my mind is check the cameras, see if I can see something."

Court paperwork says Ortiz Arroyo refused to continue talking to police when he was asked about previous suspicious fires in the city.

He was arraigned Friday morning and ordered held without bail.