71-year-old arrested for alleged arson of furniture warehouse


LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – Las Cruces police say a 71-year-old man is responsible for a fire at the Ikards Furniture Warehouse on Monday afternoon.

Police arrested Billy Gene King with one felony count of arson over $20,000 on Thursday.

Investigators say King had been at the warehouse requesting a phone to call a taxi. And, the taxi service confirmed he had been at the warehouse and hailed a ride home.

“King acknowledged being at the warehouse and lighting a cigarette near the northeast corner of the building,” a news release says. “He also acknowledged throwing a burning match on cardboard boxes located on the northeast, exterior corner of the warehouse.”

Fire investigators say the corner is where the fire originated from and where it propagated into the building.

King has been booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center and is being held without bond.

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