A fire at a home in Centreville's Newgate community on Monday caused $40,000 damage, and Fairfax County police have charged David L. Jackson with arson in connection with the blaze.
Jackson, who has a criminal history dating back two decades, has several charges against him and is being held without bond in the Adult Detention Center.
Lt. Jeff Trice, county Fire and Rescue Department spokesman, said the home was being renovated, so no one was living there at the time. But police say an alert resident called them when he saw someone lucking inside it, just before the fire broke out.
THE INCIDENT occurred Oct. 16 around 10:30 p.m. in the 14400 block of Four Chimney Drive. When firefighters from West Centreville's Station 38 responded, said Trice, "Smoke was showing from the second floor of the three-level townhouse."
When police arrived, the home was on fire. A lookout was broadcast over the police radio for a man on a bicycle, and a description of his clothing was given. Another officer then noticed a man matching that description riding on a bicycle on Awbrey Patent Drive.
Police took the man — later identified as Jackson, 44, formerly of Centreville, but now with no fixed address — to the Sully District Police Station for questioning. And early on Oct. 17, they charged him with arson, burglary, possession of stolen property and failure to update the sex-offender registry.
In November 1986 in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Jackson was convicted of aggravated sexual assault; he lived in Clifton at the time. He was sentenced to five years in prison and —following a series of parole violations stemming from that conviction — he was ordered to register as a sex offender, but did not comply.
He has a Jan. 3 court date for his latest offenses. Regarding Monday's fire, Trice said the fire department could not provide any information about how the blaze started, or where, because of the ongoing criminal case.