Arson suspect who allegedly hoarded over 150 jugs of gas inside Philadelphia property arrested

An arson suspect who police believe hoarded hundreds of one-gallon jugs full of gasoline inside an abandoned West Philadelphia home was taken into custody on Wednesday. 

After more than a month on the run, investigators say 37-year-old Darren Arnold was spotted in the area of 10th street and Oregon Avenue Wednesday morning. 

The U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force arrested 37-year-old Darren Arnold on charges of arson and related offenses linked to "several incidents" on the 100 block of North 59th Street in August.

The investigation began on August 1 when officers were called to an abandoned property on North 59th street for complaints of a strong gas smell coming from inside.


Authorities say 154 one-gallon milk jugs full of gasoline were found inside the property and a hazmat team was called. Neighboring homes were evacuated as crews removed the gas. 

Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters that the home had previously caught fire in March and had since been abandoned. 

Hours later, firefighters were called back to the property to extinguish a morning fire. No injuries were reported, but police said witnesses claimed the man who was brought in for questioning returned to the home after he was released with additional jugs of gasoline and may have set the house on fire.

Less than a week later, firefighters returned to the property on North 59th Street for another small fire that was quickly extinguished. Investigators did not link Arnold to the Sunday night fire and police did not share a possible cause of the blaze.