Woman arrested on suspicion of arson in Lakeside house fire

Neighbors described scene as 'bizarre'

LAKESIDE, Calif. - A woman faces arson charges Wednesday morning after investigators said she set her own Lakeside home on fire.

The Tuesday blaze broke out at a home at 13266 Lakeview Grenada Drive. Investigators said the residents were outside when fire crews arrived shortly before 4:30 p.m.

Firefighters had the blaze knocked down in about 22 minutes, Heartland Fire and Rescue
Department dispatcher said.

Fire crews remained on scene as of about 5 p.m., the dispatcher said. Sheriff's department personnel stopped traffic on Lakeview Grenada Drive, sheriff's Lt. Scott Amos said.

10News spoke with neighbors about what they say they saw a woman doing to her mother as the flames engulfed their home.

"We heard this distinct 'Help me,'" said David Silva about a 74-year-old woman cried for help from across the street around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Silva said he saw the woman's daughter trying to wrestle her into their burning home.

"You could see the flame coming up over the top of the roof at the back of the house because that is where the fire started," said Silva. "I mean there was two empty gas cans in the house, her hair was singed, she was trying to drag her mother back into the house … bizarre."

One neighbor who did not want to be identified said the flames were just inches away from her home. She grabbed a hose and started to spray down her wooden fence and then she heard screaming across the street.

The neighbor told 10News, "She was already on the ground but the guy was telling her, '[expletive] stay on the ground' and then police came and cuffed her and put her in the car."

The incident was not the first time the daughter has been in trouble with the law. 10News found court records of a domestic violence case filed in August by the mother, Kazuko Martinez, against the daughter, who neighbors identified as Neomi Rodriguez.

A restraining order details years of family troubles. Martinez wrote, "She is being verbally abusive to me which is caused by her over-taking prescription drugs. She is starting to hear things and see things. She mentioned seeing a snake coming in the house, and that the snake is all over her body and in her hair."

Then, it escalated. Martinez wrote, "She approached me, inches from my face, screaming at me. Today, she had a hammer in her hand."

Two weeks later, Martinez asked to withdraw the restraining order because the family was seeking therapy.

Amy McFadden, another neighbor, told 10News that Rodriguez has shown bizarre behavior before. McFadden shares a backyard fence with the mother and daughter and that the daughter slipped into the home unannounced on New Year's Eve.

Martinez is recovering from smoke inhalation at an area hospital. Rodriguez is being held at the Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility. Bail was set at $150,000.

She faces four felony charges, including arson and trying to hurt or kill an elderly dependent adult.

10News spoke with the Martinez's son who said while his mother was not badly hurt, family members are trying to take things one step at a time.

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