Woman Arrested After Investigators Find Wallet at Arson Site

Eight fires were reported within minutes of each other Monday morning in the San Bernardino area

By Jonathan Lloyd and Jacob Rascon
|  Monday, Jun 3, 2013  |  Updated 1:23 PM PDT
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A wallet and lighter were found at two of the eight locations early Monday. Jacob Rascon reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Monday June 3, 2013.

A wallet and lighter were found at two of the eight locations early Monday. Jacob Rascon reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Monday June 3, 2013.

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Garden Hose v. Arson Fire

A homeowner grabs a garden hose to douse flames after getting a call from the fire department. The man's gazebo and an RV were some of the items set ablaze in a series of overnight arson cases in San Bernardino. Jacob Rascon reports for Today in LA on Monday June 3, 2013.
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A woman was arrested Monday in connection with a series of arson fires, including one that damaged a recreational vehicle owned by a fire investigator, overnight in the San Bernardino area after her wallet was found at one of the locations.

The fires occurred in a four- to six-block area in the hillside community of Little Mountain. The recreational vehicle was damaged after a burning trash bin was placed next to the vehicle.

No injuries were reported.

"They were set within a one-hour period, so it's evident this was intentionally set," said Capt. Jason Serrano, of the San Bernardino Fire Department.

San Bernardino police identified the person under arrest as a woman in her 40s. She will be booked on multiple counts of arson, police said.

"We have a lot of dry brush in the area, and we just can't have these kind of people out here threatening the public with these arson fires," said Serrano.

Most of the fires started in dry brush or wood piles in the Little Mountain community, a hillside area with dense brush.

The first report was received at about 3:30 a.m. after a pile of branches was set on fire in a backyard. Someone then tossed a burning piece of wood into a vacant home. Another fire was reported at a nearby garage before a second pile of wood was set on fire.

One resident told NBC4 she thought the hillside might be on fire.

"I thought it was the neighbors' hill," said resident Kathy Nelson. "I can't believe it. That's so scary."

The arsonist then climbed a hill and started the most damaging of the fires, according to fire investigators. A homeowner used a garden hose to extinguish a burning gazebo after receiving a call from the fire department.

"They took the trash out of our garbage can and used that to light to motorhome on fire and the gazebo," the homeowner told NBC4. "The fire department called us and said our property was on fire. Normally, we call the fire department -- they called us. I started with the garden hose, then the fire department came and put everything out.

"It's surprising, shocking."

Investigators found a lighter and wallet at one of the fire locations.

Anyone with information about the fires can call 909-383-5260

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