Chandler firefighter arrested in arson case - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler firefighter arrested in arson case

April 29th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Chandler firefighter arrested in arson case

By Cecilia Chan
Staff Writer           

A veteran Chandler Fire Department firefighter faces arson and other charges in connection with his arrest last week for the apparent fire-bombing of an occupied Gilbert home.

Eric Donald Jones, 41, of Chandler, was released with electronic monitoring from the County Jail on May 21 after posting a $50,000 bond two days after his arrest in connection with the April 18 incident.

Jones faces three counts – arson of an occupied structure, a Class 2 felony; misconduct involving weapons, a Class 2 felony; and criminal damage, a Class 4 felony – according to Gilbert Police spokeswoman Brenda Carrasco.

Neighbors in The Islands community in Gilbert said they were roused from their sleep at 1 a.m. April 18 by the blaring sirens of first-responders.

A house on Dolphin Drive was on fire and residents took to social media the following day asking what had happened.

“Apparently someone threw a bomb at a house,” wrote a woman, who said she found out from her brother-in-law who was wakened by police. “Apparently ex-boyfriend was upset with breakup and threw at ex gf house…unbelievable.”

She posted a picture of the house, where it seemed the fire damage was limited to the garages.

Gilbert Police remained tight-lipped last week if a bomb was used or what the motive was behind the fire.

Jones has been a firefighter with Chandler since February 2007, according to city spokesman Matt Burdick.

Burdick said Jones is on leave.

Carrasco said Gilbert Fire and Rescue and the Gilbert Police Department responded to the house fire in The Islands neighborhood located just west of Warner and Cooper roads.

Gilbert Police and Fire departments released few details of the incident.

Fire Deputy Chief Mark Justus said both departments were conducting their own investigations into the fire “believe to be arson-related.”

“This is all of the information we have available at this time,” Justus said in an email.

Gilbert Police’s probable cause statement for the arrest was sealed, according to a Superior Court spokesman, who directed further questions to the County Attorney’s Office. The spokeswoman there ignored multiple requests for information.

Jones had a scheduled court date on April 26.