Arrest Made in Des Moines Apartment Fire That Displaced Dozens

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The man police say started a fire at a Des Moines apartment building earlier this month, which displaced dozens of residents, was arrested Wednesday.

On April 7th, 26-year-old Curtis Giovannte poured gasoline in a hallway at the apartments at 1302 E. Watrous and ignited it, according to Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department. The fire caused significant damage that left multiple families without a place to live. No injuries were reported from the fire.

Video showed Giovannte getting the gas at a nearby Quik Trip shortly before the fire.

On Wednesday, an officer saw Giovannte getting on to a DART bus near SW 9th and McKinley and recognized him as the suspect in the apartment arson. The officer followed the bus and at the next stop detained Giovannte, who was found to have an unrelated warrant and taken into custody.

After further investigation, Giovannte was charged with first degree arson in connection with the fire. Police say he did not offer up a reason for setting the fire.

Giovannte is being held in the Polk County Jail.

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