By Staff

BROCKTON (CBS) – Investigators released a photo Wednesday of a “person of interest” wanted in connection with four arson fires and a burglary in Brockton overnight.

The first fire broke out just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, destroying the old State House building at the Brockton Fairgrounds.

“To see it gone is a shock, and it’s shame that it had to happen,” said Tyler Abraham, an amateur photographer about the Fairgrounds burning down. “I can’t understand why somebody would do that. Sad day.”

Then, a brush fire was reported at the Junior-Senior High School on West Street.

The old State House Building at the Brockton Fairgrounds Wednesday morning. (WBZ-TV)

Brockton Police were then called to a burglary at the Sears store in the Westgate Mall at 1:15 a.m. Moments later, there was a brush fire in D.W. Fields park.

A fourth fire was discovered later in the morning at Marciano Stadium. The State Fire Marshal’s office said an “item” was burned on the football field and damaged the artificial turf.

“The outside fires and the burglary are connected and investigators believe the Fairgrounds fire was most likely set by the same people,” Jennifer Mieth, a spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal, said in a statement.

Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan said police chased but failed to catch a suspect. He added there would be extra police patrols Wednesday night in the city and at all of the schools.

Fairgrounds owner George Carney told WBZ-TV he had just returned from Florida when he found out what happened.

“I feel bad because I’ve been here since the early 50’s. I’ve been involved in running this operation. Just like anything else it’s one of those things you going on with life, things happen you hoped didn’t happen,” he said.

Authorities released this photo of the person they’re looking for.

The person of interest wanted in the Brockton fires, March 17, 2021. (Photo credit: State Fire Marshal’s Office)

Anyone with information is asked to call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-682-9229, Brockton Police at 508-941-0200 or the Brockton Fire Department at 508 583-2933.

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information that helps solve the crimes. Staff