Arson suspect arrested in Medford’s Pacific Pride Fire investigation

Medford, Ore. — Medford Police announced it arrested a man for allegedly starting a fire that burned near downtown Medford on April 12th. The ‘Pacific Pride Fire,’ as it’s called, burned at the Pacific Pride gas station at 936 S. Central Avenue. Friday, MPD announced its arrested 49-year-old homeless man John Charles Salmons for starting the fire. He’s been charged with Arson in the 1st Degree,6 counts of Criminal Mischief in the 1st Degree, and Recklessly Endangering. He is not being granted bail.

Medford Police say on April 16th, at about midnight, an MPD officer contacted Salmons on the bike path, in the 1400 block of Biddle Road, after seeing him with a warming fire. The officer discovered Salmons was on probation for arson, and ultimately arrested him on a probation violation. MPD says detectives later linked him to the Pacific Pride Fire, and cited video surveillance as playing a key role. Police believe it was started intentionally.

The fire damaged 4 buildings, 6 businesses and sent more than 20,000 gallons of petroleum product into Bear Creek.

MPD says Salmons’ original Arson conviction stems from a fire in Medford on August 1st, 2021.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact Medford Police at 541-770-4783. Case 22-6203

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