LA MESA, Calif. - A 31-year-old man whose cigarette sparked a fire that gutted a La Mesa home and damaged another was behind bars Saturday in connection with the blaze, police said.
Jackson Pavlicek allegedly extinguished his cigarette in the backyard of the single-story house in the 9100 block of Dillon Drive near Bancroft Drive. According to La Mesa police, the cigarette caused the surrounding dry brush to ignite and spread to the house.
The blaze caused damage to trees and bushes as well as minor damage to the roof of a nearby residence according to Sonny Saghera, public information officer for Heartland Fire & Rescue.
Police officers and firefighters were called about 3:15 p.m. Friday, according to La Mesa police and fire officials. The blaze was subdued in about an hour, at which time La Mesa Police Department arson investigators were called.
Pavlicek and the home's two other residents vacated the house uninjured, police said.
Following the investigation, Pavlicek was arrested on suspicion of reckless burning of property and booked into San Diego Central Jail, police said.
The American Red Cross was called to help find emergency lodging for the residents of the destroyed home.
There were no injuries reported.