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He allegedly started 11 fires on campus. Now this college student has been arrested

College of the Sequoias, Visalia campus
College of the Sequoias, Visalia campus COLLEGE OF THE SEQUOIAS

A College of the Sequoias student was arrested Tuesday after allegedly starting 11 fires on the Visalia campus within two days.

Josiah Banks, 20, was arrested and his bail set at $50,000 after police found him near the latest fires, said COS spokeswoman Lauren Fishback.

Around 11:40 a.m. Monday, a fire was reported in the men’s bathroom of the Sierra building. Shortly after, another fire was started in the men’s bathroom of the nearby Sequoia building, Fishback said.

Then 1 1/2 hours later, three more fires were started in different bathrooms on campus, which prompted campus police, the Visalia Fire Department and college staff to respond.

Three more fires were started after 3 p.m., totaling 9 by 6:30 p.m., Fishback said.

Two more fires started around 11:35 a.m. Tuesday. Witnesses said they saw a man with a certain distinctive backpack leaving the scenes.

Banks was found nearby and booked into the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility on suspicion of 11 counts of arson.

Fishback did not say how much damage the fires caused.

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