A hotel employee is behind bars after investigators say he admitted to starting a fire that forced evacuations at a Tallahassee hotel over the weekend.

According to court documents, the Tallahassee Fire Department responded to a structure fire investigation at Town Place Suites by Marriott on Capital Circle NE on Saturday. TFD was also assisted on the scene by the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations.

When crews arrived, they were informed that the fire occurred in the storage closet near the front lobby. During the investigation, the cause of the fire was determined to be incendiary in nature.

Documents say the hotel’s security footage revealed a suspect who authorities identified as 25-year-old Ian Brown. Investigators say Brown was an employee at the hotel.

Tallahassee Police, who also responded to the scene, then detained Brown and questioned him. When investigators questioned Brown, he admitted to intentionally setting the fire.

Brown told investigators that he set fire to a cardboard box inside a closet using a cigarette lighter. Documents say more than 40 rooms were occupied during the time of the fire and numerous guests had to be evacuated due to the incident.

Based on the evidence, Brown was transported to the Leon County Detention Facility. He is being held without bond on a first-degree arson charge.

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