Marvin Calvin Chase, 32, of 803 Patterson Road in LaFayette was released Wednesday evening, Dec. 17, from the Walker County jail, sheriff Steve Wilson said.
Chase has been charged with one count of first-degree arson and is facing 20 possible counts, pending the out-come of the investigation, police said.
Stacey Meeks, lead investigator with the LaFayette Police Department, said Chase’s motive was that he liked fighting fires he had set and he also liked getting paid to fight them.
Chase had been a volunteer with the LaFayette Fire Department for the past eight years. He also worked for the city’s Waste Water Department for the past several years.
In the past five years the city saw a surge in arson fires, with up to 30 suspicious fires, Meeks said. Investigators knew the city was dealing with a serial arsonist, but was unable to make an arrest until a witness recently came forward with information on Chase, he said.
The identity of the witness is being withheld as the investigation continues, Meeks said.