Witness tackles man suspected of starting fire in Golden Hill area

Posted at 5:47 AM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 15:42:00-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A man suspected of intentionally starting a brush fire in Golden Hill Wednesday morning was tackled by a witness and pinned down for law enforcement officers.

The fire was reported just after 5 a.m. in an area just off Interstate 5, near 19th and B streets, according to authorities.

The 10News Breaking News Tracker’s camera was rolling as a witness confronted a man who allegedly set the fire and was trying to add more fuel to the flames. A physical altercation ensued, and the witness held the man on the ground as firefighters and law enforcement responded.

The suspected arsonist told officers that he was not doing anything and just trying to help put out the fire, but the witness said the man was “literally grabbing all this dry brush and he’s throwing it into the fire.”

Crews were able to quickly put out the fire, and officers arrested the man -- who is homeless -- on suspicion of arson, obstruction and resisting arrest.

Arson investigators are looking into the matter, 10News learned.

Brush fires started by homeless San Diegans, like one off state Route 163 earlier this week, have become a problem that San Diego City Councilman Chris Ward is trying to put an end to by talking to the mayor to come up with a plan.

“About a generation ago, we lost 75 homes to a canyon fire, so this is a real danger to our mid-city neighborhoods that we have to take seriously,” said Ward.