By Gavin Quinton
Investigators arrested an 18-year-old man Friday on suspicion of arson after three Burbank blazes were set last week.
The three fires occurred within blocks of each other, Burbank police said, and they all involved trees and shrubs that were close enough to threaten nearby homes. All were extinguished before they reached any structures.
Just after midnight Friday, the suspect, a Burbank resident, was arrested in the Burbank Empire Center for felony arson, and was placed on $750,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 26.
Jeanine and Mark Doyle were not home at 9:15 p.m. on July 15 when a blaze consumed a large hedge that separated their house from a neighbor’s house in the 1700 block of Chandler Boulevard. The fire grew to a height of 12-15 feet before spreading to the lawn and engulfing the Doyles’ mailbox, which contained personal mail and packages.
The Doyles and their neighbor, Nancy Parlato, had told investigators they believed arson was the cause of the fire. The other two fires last weekend occurred within two blocks of the Doyles’ home.
Jeanine Doyle said that a neighbor was walking his dog when he discovered the fire and attempted to alert the Doyles and Parlato, who was asleep at the time. Neighbors sprang into action. Ultimately, the group was able to extinguish the fire before it could spread to the residences.
“It was like basically the whole neighborhood coming out and making sure it was taken care of. It was out before the fire department even got here,” Jeanine Doyle said.
Burbank Police Department and Burbank Fire Department simultaneously responded to a second report of a fire on the 700 block of North Parish Place, just two blocks away from the Doyle and Parlato residences, police said.
“When BFD personnel arrived, they found a bush and vehicle on fire in the driveway of a single-family residence. BFD was able to extinguish the fire and the damage was contained to the vehicle and bush,” said Sgt. Brent Fekety, Public Information Officer for BPD.
Fekety also said that BPD and BFD responded to reports of a house fire on the 1300 block of Chandler Boulevard the next day, July 16, at about 11:30 p.m. “When BFD arrived, they found a large tree on fire in the front yard of a single-family residence and extinguished the fire before it spread to the residence,” he said.
No injuries were reported at any of the fire locations.
Out of concern for her family’s safety, Doyle plans to install security cameras for her home to deter similar crimes from happening in the future.
Anyone with information about these fires is asked to call Detective Kristiana Sanchez at (818) 238-3210.