Man arrested for starting fires in Hamilton park, parking garage

Fire caused damage at Marcum Park in Hamilton early Wednesday morning. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Fire caused damage at Marcum Park in Hamilton early Wednesday morning. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A man is facing arson charges for allegedly starting fires in a Hamilton park and downtown parking garage on the same day, according to police.

Fires were set in the early morning hours of March 31 at Marcum Park on Dayton Street and on the third floor of McDulin Parking Garage on North Second Street, according to Hamilton police and fire reports.

Bryan Gibson, 24, was developed as a suspect in both intentionally set fires and taken into custody on the same afternoon. Gibson confessed to starting the two fires set during the early morning an hour apart. According to police, Gibson said he was “just trying to stay warm.”

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Gibson is charged with two counts of felony arson along with several incidents of failure to appear and a probation violation. He is housed in the Butler County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond and is scheduled to be back in Hamilton Municipal Court today for a preliminary hearing.

Bryan Gibson BULTER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Bryan Gibson BULTER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Gibson was convicted of misdemeanor arson for an incident in Hamilton in August 2020 and placed on two years supervised community control, according to court records.

An alarm sounded at Marcum Park about 2:45 a.m. on March 31. When fire units arrived, they found a lot of smoke, according to Hamilton Fire Investigator Trevor Snider.

Fire was found in a plastic water runoff grate, and it scorched the walls of a garage and restroom area, he said. The melting plastic caused a lot of smoke.

Fire caused damage at Marcum Park in Hamilton early Wednesday morning. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Fire caused damage at Marcum Park in Hamilton early Wednesday morning. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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The Hamilton police report estimates the damage at $2,000.

Clothing was set on fire at the parking garage at about 1:35 a.m. A police officer was able to put out the flames, and there was no damage to the building.

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