Suspect in 2 Springfield arsons in custody

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | 7:48 a.m. CST; updated 10:36 a.m. CST, Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SPRINGFIELD — A man suspected of setting fires to two Springfield houses is at a hospital to receive a mental health evaluation.

The man, in his 20s, was taken into custody Monday after fires at two separate homes about 10 blocks from each other.

Firefighters had to rescue a woman and her dogs from one of the homes. Assistant Fire Chief Randy Villines said the woman was rescued with only minutes to spare.

About an hour after that rescue, firefighters were called to the second house. No one was in that home.

The Springfield News-Leader reported that fire officials said the suspect is related to the woman who was rescued but did not specify the relationship.

Villines said both fires were extinguished before either home was destroyed.

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