Car set on fire explodes in front of San Jacinto home

Local news

A family was asleep in their San Jacinto home last week when their car was set on fire, causing a huge explosion.

Video captured on July 31 around 4 a.m. shows the suspected arsonist running away and tearing his clothes off as it appears he’s on fire.

“I don’t think he intended for it to blow up in his face like it did,” said Pam Redden, whose son owns the car.

The car was parked on the street in front of their San Jacinto home as they slept. They awoke to the sound of the dog barking, and Redden went to look outside.

“It’s just in flames. I’m trying to get the hose. It’s not working,” she said. “I kind of ran in called 911, screaming my head off trying to get people awake.”

The fire department responded and put the flames out before it could spread. After things had calmed down, Redden checked their security cameras and saw a car drive past the house a couple of times before parking down the street.

Then the arsonist appears on the footage, holding something in hand.

“This person walking by my house and for about five minutes stayed out of view and then he came and then looks like he broke a window,” Redden said.

Shortly after, the flames are visible, then a loud noise is heard. About a minute later, the sound of the suspect’s car speeding off can be heard.

“It was really shocking to me,” she said. “Why would someone do that?”

Redden told fire investigators that she has no idea why their car was targeted.

“As far as I know, I don’t have any enemies. I’ve been in this town for most of my life,” she said.

She says she’s thankful no one was hurt and the fire didn’t spread to their house. Redden emphasized the importance of always having a fire extinguisher on hand.

“I do think I was spared. The car is replaceable,” she said.

But the incident has left her shaken up and she says she keeps the security cameras on at all times.

“I’m on pins and needles. Every time the dog barks, I jump,” Redden said.

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