Police arrest man accused of setting 4 fires in 3 days

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Police have arrested a suspected arsonist they say was targeting his own home in a high-rise apartment building.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers arrested Eric White on Tuesday on multiple charges of first-degree arson and burning personal property.

According to court records White set four fires in three days at the Charlottetowne Terrace apartments on Baxter Street in Dilworth.

Investigators said White was setting trash on fire and pushing it down the building's trash chute - at one point, setting an entire dumpster alight.

"He just put a lot of people's lives in danger by setting these fires," said CMPD arson investigator Sgt. Bobby Whitley.

Authorities said surveillance video from the building led them to White as a suspect, even though White himself had just recently moved into the facility.

"I never thought he was a person like that, never thought he would do anything like that, ever," said fellow resident Janice Crowder.

Crowder said the string of fires and evacuations had unnerved many of the building's elderly and disabled residents.

"We have elderly people here, people that can't go up and down stairs. He really could have hurt somebody," Crowder said.

White is in the Mecklenburg County Jail.