Saugus man accused of setting fire at height of Saddleridge firefighting efforts

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Arson investigators arrested a Saugus man on the weekend on suspicion that he acted recklessly in purposely setting fire to property.

The arrest happened Saturday night as firefighters struggled — during red flag conditions — to contain the Saddleridge Fire, which burned at least 8,391 acres, destroyed 17 homes and damaged 77 others, from Sylmar to Reseda.

“This arrest was not in relation to those areas,” Lt. Sue Burakowski, in charge of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Arson and Explosives Detail, said Tuesday.

“This was in the context of a domestic violence incident,” she said.

“Thankfully, it was not particularly big,” Burakowski said, noting that “with all the wind” the fire could have spread.

Officials with the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Thursday and extended it until Saturday, warning about high fire risk conditions — high winds, hot temperatures and dry brush.

On Saturday, shortly after 11:30 p.m., arson detail detectives arrested a man described as unemployed and 30 years old, on suspicion of recklessly causing a fire to property, a misdemeanor.

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On Twitter: @jamesarthurholt

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