December 30, 2008 (by Otto Smyth)
According to burn injury lawyers in Los Angeles, authorities the man they have arrested allegedly in connection with the Orange County fires has been identified as Matthew Deason age 29 and resident of Laguna Hills.
According to reports by Orange County Fire Department Capt. Greg McKeown, Deason allegedly started small blazes with a cigarette lighter in the vicinity bordering Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills on Sunday evening when the first fire began at approximately 9:30 p.m. The fire was began in the location where the vacant Mervins store in a commercial dumpster outside. The Mervins store is located in the vicinity of Alicia Parkway and Charlinda Drive according to the Orange County fire authorities the blaze that was set in the dumpster damaged the vacant building.
The second fire was set in the vicinity of Interstate 5 in the Laguna Hills area where a ten foot by ten foot grassy area was burned. A statement by Capt. McKeown the areas the fires were set it was possible to see one fire from the other one.
Another fire was set in the back of a two-story office building and the flames were reported at approximately 11:00 p.m. and are reported to have caused approximately $500,000 in damage to the building.
There was a fourth fire set in an area of a building still under construction; this fire was put out before extensive damage could be done. The fifth fire that was set was in the same vicinity as the Mervin’s fire, in a recreation room of an apartment complex.
According to Capt. McKeown surveillance of the areas where the arson had taken place by an investigator, where what he termed three persons of interest were seen. Deason was seen at one of the fire scenes riding a bicycle.
Deason was questioned by authorities and confessed to starting the fires without any accomplices to sheriff deputies and was arrested for allegedly starting the five fires in the separate locations.