Burned man accused of causing Stevenson Ranch house fire

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A Stevenson Ranch man who allegedly set fire to his family’s house for allegedly firing up his drugs with butane has been arrested on suspicion of recklessly causing that fire.

William Seidel, 38, who suffered first and second degree burns in the fire Thursday, was arrested once the fire was extinguished on suspicion of recklessly causing a fire inside an inhabited structure and on suspicion of at least one drug offense.

“He was trying to fire up his narcotics with butane,” Lt. Leo Bauer of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal Friday.

The fire charge is a felony defined by the California Penal Code as: “unlawfully causing a fire that causes an inhabited structure or inhabited property to burn is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three or four years, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine, or by both such imprisonment and fine.”

Seidel was taken into custody and later transferred to the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles, with bail set at $25,000, arrest documents show.

He is scheduled to appear Monday in San Fernando Superior Court.

Seidel’s injuries were described by one firefighter Thursday as “minor injuries to his hands.”

The fire broke out shortly after 8:15 a.m. in a “detached bedroom” – described as a “nanny’s quarters” room – at a house on the 25000 block of North Keats Lane in Stevenson Ranch, between a dead end and North Irving Lane.

“This was a small contents fire,” a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department told The Signal. The “contents” burned in the fire included a mattress and clothing.

“The fire was inside and outside the building,” he said. “One patient was transported to hospital with first and second degree burns.”

Firefighters arrived at the fire scene – near the intersection of Pico Canyon Road and the Stevenson Ranch Parkway – at 8:19 a.m. and cleared from the scene at 30 minutes later, after the fire was extinguished.

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