A 37-year-old man who allegedly started a house fire in Wilmington that injured one Los Angeles police officer and three children was identified on Friday.
George Pineda Garcia was arrested late Thursday night on suspicion of arson and attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Garcia allegedly walked into a duplex where he resides in the 700 block of North Hawaiian Avenue, spread accelerant and lit the building on fire, police said.
A mother and three children who rent one bedroom in the duplex were home at the time of the fire, according to authorities. Garcia is not related to the family but resides with a couple who rents out the other bedroom in the unit, police said.
Firefighters rescued the mother and two of the children from a second-story stairwell without the use of a hose line to protect themselves, according to Capt. Erik Scott with the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The LAPD officer was one of the first responders on the scene and saved another child from the home, suffering from smoke inhalation in the process, the Department said.
“An LAPD male officer was able to assist another child out of a second-story window with the assistance of two other civilians,” said Scott.
A 15-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl were transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Their mother was assessed at the scene and declined ambulance transport.
The third child is listed in serious condition, the Department added.
Garcia, who has a lengthy criminal record, was booked Thursday night and his bail is set at $2 million, according to the LAPD.