Did a serial arsonist strike again around Saginaw? Police say it's possible

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CARROLLTON TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (1/8/2019) - A series of arsons over the weekend had police and fire crews scrambling in the Saginaw area.

Paul Corba

A person of interest has been arrested -- and he appears to be the same man awaiting trial on charges related to a string of arsons last year in Saginaw's Old Town district.

In the most recent cases, six fires were reported in the Saginaw and Carrollton areas early Saturday. The fires were put out quickly, no one was hurt and the damage was minor.

One of the suspected arsonist's targets was a box truck at Engel's Auto Body in Carrollton. There was some damage to the truck. Shortly after the truck started on fire, there were two more fires nearby.

"You start doing senseless acts, you are endangering lives," said Carrollton Township Police Chief Craig Oatten.

The suspect was arrested near the scene of the final fire. Oatten would not comment on the identity of the person of interest in custody, but a bond hearing was held Tuesday morning for 59-year-old Paul Corba.

He was charged with arson in connection with a series of fires set in Saginaw's Old Town district in the fall of 2017. Corba was arrested in October of 2017 and court records indicate he pleaded guilty to arson, but then withdrew the plea.

Corba spent nine months in jail, but was released in July when his bond was lowered to $500. His trial was originally scheduled to start Tuesday, but it has been delayed until March.

Now, Corba is back in jail and also might face additional charges regarding this weekend's fires.

"He could be a person of interest," Oatten said.

After Tuesday morning's hearing, Corba's bond was revoked and he remains in the Saginaw County Jail.