Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a fire at the Dome Building at 736 Georgia Ave. shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday. When firefighters arrived, they observed the glass doors and windows had been broken out. There was evidence that a fire had been started in the entrance to the building, but the sprinkler system activated and put the fire out.
The firefighters also noticed that a man was lingering around the area, partially hidden from view, so they called for assistance from the Chattanooga Police Department. Chattanooga police detained the man until he could be questioned by Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division. It did not take long for Lt. McElvain to connect the man with the broken windows and the fire, because the man had tried the same thing before.
Daniel Maier was arrested on Feb. 8, 2010, for trying to start a fire at the Dome Building. He was convicted of arson in the incident and spent some time in jail for the crime.
On Saturday night, he tried it again. Lt. McElvain said Maier used an ax to break out 20 windows and two glass doors in the building. He then used Coleman fuel to try to start a fire in the building. Fortunately, the sprinkler system extinguished the fire. No one was injured. The loss was estimated at around $30,000, mostly for all the damage to the windows and doors.
Lt. McElvain charged Maier with arson and vandalism. Chattanooga police then transported the suspect to the county jail for booking.
Maier will be celebrating his 62nd birthday on Monday in the county jail.