Police Lt. Neil Cochran says 37-year-old Danny Harley was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of arson and placed on a 72-hour mental health detention.
Officers were called to the Motel 6 on Century Boulevard after someone reported loud banging inside a room on the ninth floor.
The room's occupant would not open the door and eventually climbed down from balcony to balcony before police intercepted him on the second floor.
A news photographer at the scene tells CNS at one point during the standoff, Harley held a knife to his own throat and threatened to harm himself.
The fire was contained to one room.