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Man arrested for arson after fire in downtown Hillsboro destroyed multiple businesses

The fire on January 2 burned eight businesses to the ground and impacted nearly two dozen others, according to Hillsboro Fire & Rescue.

HILLSBORO, Ore — Hillsboro Police detectives made an arrest for the Jan. 2 fire that destroyed several businesses in the town's historic downtown area. 

Fire crews were called to Weil Arcade, a business on East Main Street, on Sunday morning around 2:45 a.m. The fire caused the building's roof to collapse, displacing several businesses. Firefighters upgrade the call to a fourth alarm, allowing more resources to respond. It took nearly 12 hours for crews to put the majority of the fire out. No injuries were reported as firefighters believe no one was inside the building.

The fire burned eight businesses to the ground, according to Hillsboro Fire and Rescue. 

On Jan. 5, police arrested 34-year-old Roel Leon. The suspect is in the Washington County Jail and is facing two felony counts of Arson-II and three felony counts of Burglary-II. The charges not associated with the Weil Arcade building come from two nearby vehicles that Leon is accused of also setting fire to, and an unrelated burglary on December 4. 

RELATED: Hillsboro businesses, apartments destroyed in multiple fires over 24 hours

While Leon remains in jail, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue investigators are still determining the official cause of the fire.

Anyone with information related to the case is asked to contact Detective Michelle Hahn of the Hillsboro Police Department at 503-681-6190. email Michelle.Hahn@hillsboro-oregon.gov and reference case numbers 21-20779, 22-54, 22-55, and 22-102. 

RELATED: Portland man sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for hand in 2020 Justice Center fire

Lucia Nguyen's Formal Wear and Bridal Shop were among the businesses damaged or destroyed. The shops owner grew up in Hillsboro and wanted to serve the community. Now that community is giving back with a GoFundMe that's raised thousands of dollars.

Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway released a statement after the fire that said in part, "Our hearts go out to the families and all of the Main Street businesses affected by the fires. We and the community are here to support them in their recovery.” 

Editor's note: the video in the media player above first aired on January 2.

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