Orange County fire investigators on Wednesday asked for help identifying a man who threw a flaming container of fuel into a Yorba Linda home, destroying it and leaving a young woman and family dog injured.
Surveillance video released by the Orange County Fire Authority showed the man running up to the home, hurling something and then lighting a bag on fire and then tossing it, in flames, into the house.
The fire, which caused $1 million in damage, occurred around 10:30 a.m. Nov. 3 at a home on Felicia Drive (map), according to the Fire Authority. It wasn’t immediately clear why the video was being released more than 11 weeks later.
A young woman inside the home was treated for smoke inhalation, as was the family’s dog Buddy, according to fire Capt. Steve Concialdi. The woman was on the second floor when she heard the smoke detector go off and the family's dog barking, authorities said. They both escaped, fire Capt. Michael Summers said.
“We are asking for the public’s help in trying to locate the person that started this fire,” Concialdi said in an email. “He might have been burned when the vapors ignited, just before he threw a container of fuel through the broken window.”
The video, apparently taken from an entryway to the home, shows a heavy-set man wearing a red pullover jacket who runs up to the home. He ignited a container of fuel after first throwing an object through a window at the home, according to a news release from the Fire Authority.
He arrived on a child’s BMX bike and fled east on Felicia Drive, the release stated. He was described as having a dark complexion, brown or black hair, and wearing clear glasses.
When he ignited the fuel, a flash-fire likely occurred that may have burned his face, right hand and arm, singing his facial hair, the release stated. The jacket he was wearing may also have been burned, and it appeared as though he was ripping it off as he fled the home's front yard.
The damaged home remained fenced off Wednesday.
Anyone with information about the identity of the arsonist or about the fire in general was asked to call the Fire Authority's Investigations Services Section at 714-573-6720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.