A 35-year-old man is in custody Thursday night after he set a home on fire during a dispute with a resident he had recently divorced, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.
Thirty firefighters were called to a two-alarm fire at a home in the 1000 block of West Washington Avenue around 8 p.m.
Police were called to the home moments before the fire started after reports of a dispute, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana Police Department. Earlier that night, the man was breaking things in the home occupied by a resident who he had recently divorced, Bertagna said.
Officers contacted the man, who was very combative, before he retreated to a back room, according to police.
The man then started the fire in the back room and ran out of the house, Bertagna said.
The fire spread to the home next door, said Capt. Larry Kurtz with the Orange County Fire Authority. He expected two counts of "intentional arson" to be filed against the suspect, who was not identified.
"When firefighters arrived on scene what they had was severe fire conditions on the first and second floor of this house. This is one of those old Craftsman-style homes; fire moves very rapidly through here. It was so intense that they could not actually enter the house."
Eight people were inside the home during the fire but were able to escape uninjured, according to OCFA.
The man was later arrested and taken into custody.
Neighbors said police had often been called to the home.