A homeless man is arrested for starting the nativity scene fire at Wisner Park on Tuesday morning.
A witness on scene described a person leaving the area while the scene was on fire.
Officers located 24-year-old Daniel J. Peterson-Green who first told officers he had accidentally started the fire with a cigarette. Further investigation revealed Peterson-Green intentionally lit a cash receipt on fire and then let the receipt catch a bail of straw on fire.
Peterson-Green fled the area, failing to notify officials of the fire.
He is facing felony charges for criminal mischief.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has information is encouraged to call the Elmira police Department at (607) 737-5611 or the anonymous tip line at (607) 271-HALT.