A suspected arsonist was picked up by police in Peru, shortly after firefighters fought a house fire.
Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei announced on Facebook that Salvatore Fiumefreddo, 58, was arrested at 12:05 p.m. May 22 and charged with residential arson, a Class 1 felony, following an investigation involving the Peru Police Department, Peru Fire Department and Illinois State Fire Marshal at a house fire at 1628 Schuyler St.
Callers first notified first responders of the fire as well as reports of a suspicious looking man in the area prior to the discovery of the fire.
Fire departments from Peru, LaSalle and Standard responded to the fire with Ladd Fire stepping in to cover the Peru station. Peru Ambulance was also on scene.
Firefighters entered the home, confirming no one was inside, and put out the fire but not before “major damage” to the building was sustained, according to the report.
A number of Peru police officers, detectives and administrators also responded to the call. By 12:05 p.m., an officer located and detained an individual several blocks from the fire scene. A family member of the defendant rents the home.
An investigation was conducted and police received felony approval from the LaSalle County State’s Attorney for residential arson by 4 p.m.
“I commend the folks in the neighborhood who made their initial observations, called 911 providing critical information and then offered all kinds of support and information to responding emergency personnel,” Bernabei said in a statement. “Their conduct demonstrates what being a good neighbor all is about.”
He also complimented the work of firefighters and police.
“Their professionalism certainly mitigated what was already a very serious and dangerous situation,” Bernabei said.