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Suspected arsonist arrested after fiery stand-off

A 52-year-old Medford man who lit a fire in his own shed during a standoff with police Friday has been apprehended on an arson charge connected to another fire on the same property.

Detectives investigating a Jan. 31 garage fire in the 2500 block of Happy Valley Drive Friday found evidence that led them to an occupied steel shed on the property. The man threatened police and refused to come out, according to a Medford police release this morning.

The shed was heavily fortified. SWAT, members of a Crisis Negotiation Team and an employee from Jackson County Mental Health responded and established communication with the man, whom police identified as Terry Lee Day.

After more than four hours, SWAT officers used a breaching charge to get the door to the shed partially open and deploy tear gas, the release said. Still Day refused to come out.

Officers then saw Day light a fire in the shed, which was quickly extinguished by Medford Fire-Rescue, police said. Officers were eventually able to get inside and arrest Day. No firearms were found, the release said.

Day is suspected of causing a fire at about 11:30 p.m. Jan. 31 in a detached garage at the same property. The fire heavily damaged the garage and spread to a wood fence separating two residences, but Medford firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to the houses. A neighbor's security camera captured a person lighting the garage on fire, but his identity could not be determined because of darkness and partially blocked views, the release said.

Day has been lodged in the Jackson County Jail on second-degree arson, reckless burning, first-degree criminal mischief, resisting arrest and warrants for assault, harassment, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, and interfering with making a police report. His bail is set at $30,000.

Terry Lee Day
123rf.com