Albuquerque Fire Rescue identified the man found dead inside a torched office building early Monday morning after he allegedly set the fire on West Central.
AFR spokesman Lt. Tom Ruiz said the body of 57-year-old Patrick Linton was found after firefighters extinguished a blaze at an office building near Central and the river.
“It is believed that the fire was intentionally set by Mr. Linton however (it) is not being classified as arson,” he said. Ruiz said the Office of the Medical Investigator will determine how Linton died.
Court records over the past few months show Linton, whose address was listed as a Santa Fe homeless shelter, had been arrested repeatedly for breaking into buildings and starting fires – at least one to “stay warm” – in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
The most recent incident was fatal.
Firefighters were dispatched around 1 a.m. to an office building at 2626 Central SW, near the river, and found smoke and flames coming from the structure. Crews found Linton’s body inside the charred building after putting out the flames.
Ruiz said the “actual cause” of the fire is still unknown and under investigation.
Authorities say Linton has been arrested four times since mid-November for starting a fire and damaging property.
Court records show Linton was arrested twice in November for allegedly starting a fire outside a Santa Fe school and, separately, inside a car “to stay warm” on Albuquerque’s West Side.
Then, on Dec. 5, Linton was arrested for allegedly starting “a campfire” behind a Circle K, according to court records. On Jan. 3, he was arrested again after allegedly starting a fire inside a Motel 6 laundry room and screaming about suicide
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