Series of fires in Ocean Beach under investigation; man detained

Posted at 6:22 AM, Jul 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-13 16:49:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A man was arrested and charged with setting multiple fires in Ocean Beach early Friday morning.

Firefighters were called to an alley on Bacon Street, near W. Point Loma Boulevard, at around 11 p.m. Thursday due to a trash can fire burning near a vehicle.

Hours later, at around 4 a.m., crews again responded to a fire burning a trash can on nearby Voltaire Street.

Just before 6 a.m., another fire -- this time burning a trash can and fence -- was reported in front of a home on Muir Avenue, near W. Point Loma Boulevard.

A man, identified later as 26-year-old Michael Barringer, was detained a short time later as police and fire crews were investigating in the area of Long Branch Ave.

Barringer has been charged with setting all 12 fires, which caused about $23,000 in damages.

Several residents told 10News Barringer is known around the neighborhood and has often been seen singing or ranting.

"Doesn't surprise me sometimes what’s going on here in Ocean Beach," said Stevie, an OB resident. "Sometimes we're having fun and sometimes we're watching out for each other."

No injuries were reported.

A man’s 1979 MGB convertible was damaged by one of the fires, and the owner told 10News the vehicle was recently restored over a four-year period but now appears to be total loss. It was parked in an alley near Muir Avenue where the suspected arsonist threw a flaming cardboard box into its open interior.

The owner of the destroyed 1979 MGB only had liability insurance and has started a GoFundMe page to try to repair the damage.

"Anytime you have multiple fires set that quickly in that small an area, you know something’s going on," said San Diego Fire-Rescue Capt. Cory Beckwith.

Beckwith said there were at least six full-blown fires of trash cans and cars over a 10-block area.