Authorities responded to a fire at an Ontario hotel parking lot that burned seven cars and prompted a full evacuation early Sunday morning.
The fire was reported at around 1:45am at the Azure Hotel and Suites on 1945 E. Holt Blvd.
Ontario Fire Department officials and Ontario Police Department officers arrived to find the seven cars ablaze.
Video footage showed four of the cars completely destroyed from the fire, charred black with some parts melted and broken off. Another car was towed away.
Authorities believe the fire started with one car and spread to six others.
The fire is being investigated as a possible arson.
The hotel’s night auditor, Roy Pritchard, told KTLA that security cameras caught a suspect on video that was turned over to investigators.
“You see the guy walking up with gas cans, sets them down and puts gas all over the cars,” Pritchard said, describing what he saw in the surveillance footage. “He smokes a cigarette, goes back, throws the cigarette down, tries to ignite the [car] and when that doesn’t work, he takes a lighter, puts it down and lights it.”
Fire alarms went off and guests from 156 rooms at the fully-booked hotel were evacuated for 30 to 45 minutes.
Many of the guests were attending an anime convention at a nearby convention center.
“We go outside and there’s flames everywhere,” witness Hang Lugan said. “One of the people we know, their car is completely melted.”
Authorities have not yet confirmed whether any of the cars were intentionally targeted, or identified any suspects.
Pritchard described the incident as “bizarre’, saying he had never seen anything like it.