Arson suspect arrested in Camarillo brush fire that damaged building

Local news

A 56-year-old man is in custody after being arrested on suspicion of starting a brush fire that damaged a commercial building in Camarillo on Wednesday, officials said.

Gregory Gilbreath of Camarillo was taken into custody in connection with a suspicious blaze that started on the 700 block of East Ponderosa Drive, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Gregory Gilbreath, 56, of Camarillo is seen in a booking photo released March 24, 2021 by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

Firefighters responded around 7:50 a.m. to a call about a structure fire in a shopping center near the intersection of Ponderosa Drive and Arneill Road, officials said.

The fire, which had spread from burning bushes, was quickly extinguished but had caused “moderate damage” to a building’s exterior, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies and officers from the Camarillo Police Department conducted a preliminary investigation and determined that the fire was deliberately set. Arson investigators from the Ventura County Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office also concluded that the fire was the result of arson, officials said.

It’s unclear what led authorities to suspect Gilbreath as the arsonist and when his arrest was made following the incident. A motive for the alleged arson was also not immediately available.

Bail for Gilbreath was set at $50,000, and he is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on Friday.

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