Three fires ignited by arson keep firefighters, police busy in Visalia

Police and fire department respond to three fires over two days, all suspects are arrested by police

VISALIA – Three different fires all over Visalia within two days kept the police department and fire department busy last week.

According to the Visalia Police Department, at 10:26 p.m., on Thursday, May 19 officers and firefighters were dispatched to a dumpster fire behind 101 S. Court St. Upon arrival, they found a dumpster fully engulfed. The property crimes unit investigated the incident and found that suspect Don Powell, 64 years old, was responsible for purposely lighting the contents of the dumpster on fire. Following the investigation, Powell was booked for arson.

Just five hours prior at 5:30 p.m., the Visalia Fire Department, Tulare County Fire, and the Visalia Police Department were dispatched to a grass fire on the Santa Fe Trail near Brooke Avenue. Upon arrival, they found a large grass fire in the St. John’s waterway. During the investigation the Visalia Police Department property crimes unit identified suspect Dylan Welsh, 29, as being responsible for unlawfully causing the fire. Welsh was located and booked for unlawfully causing the fire. 

Two days before that on Tuesday, May 17, 3:24 p.m., the Visalia Fire Department and Visalia Police Department were dispatched to a grass fire in the area of Woodland and Houston. Upon arrival, they found a grass area that was on fire. Witnesses in the area advised that the fire was caused by a group of students lighting illegal fireworks. Youth service officers investigated the incident and identified two male juveniles who were responsible for the fire. The juveniles were arrested and booked for unlawfully causing a fire and possession of illegal fireworks. 

Visalia Police Logs

Sunday, May 22
At 5:57 p.m., the Visalia Police Department dispatch center received a call for service regarding a gunshot victim that was being transported to Kaweah Health Medical Center in a personal vehicle. Officers responded to Kaweah Health and learned that a 32-year-old male victim arrived with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. The victim informed officers that the shooting occurred in the 500 block of N. Velie Drive, and that the driver who transported him to the hospital fled prior to officers arriving. Officers responded to the 500 block of N Velie Drive and located the crime scene. The violent crimes unit responded and took over the investigation. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Lamar at 559-713-4739.

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