Laguna Beach Police brought in to question.
"Our investigators participated in that interview and found
nothing to arrest him on," fire authority spokesman Stephen Miller
Miller said that he didn't believe that the Laguna police, who
still have the suspect in custody, would charge the suspect with
arson when fire authority investigators wouldn't.
But Laguna Beach Police Capt. Danell Adams said a man detained
after he was seen leaving the origin of the fire is still a suspect.
"What we have so far is that an Edison employee saw the fire, sees
a male individual walking out back by the Edison plant," Laguna Beach
Police Captain Field Services Commander, Paul Workman said. "The
Edison employee detained him and called us on his cell phone."
"We pursued him and apprehended him less than 12 feet away from
the fire," Adams said.
The suspect, Arlan Ramirez, 28, a transient from the Tustin area,
is still in custody and being questioned under suspicion of fleeing
from an officer.
"We're still investigating it, we'll bring it to the district
attorney," Adams said. "There is not enough evidence to file charges
On Thursday afternoon, Ramirez was in Harbor Court answering
charges for obstruction.
"If we can prove any connection to the fire, we'll have to refile
that," Adams said.
Workman said a lot of transients live in the brush where the fire
Soon after the plumes of smoke became visible, Lagunans began to
make their way into the streets to see how worried they should be.
Many stood and watched, stuck Downtown after police closed Laguna
Canyon Road. Others made good use of their cell phones to call home
and determine whether their houses and loved ones were safe.
Emergency workers were quick on the scene. The Orange County Fire
Authority along with the Laguna Beach and Newport Beach fire
departments and the California Division of Forestry had about 100
firefighters, two water-dropping helicopters and two bulldozers on
scene to fight the flames.
The blaze started near the Edison power substation on the on
Laguna Canyon Road.
"It burned about 15 acres," Miller said. "It was 100% contained as
of 5 p.m. [Tuesday] night," Miller said.
"We all work together beautifully, working hand in hand with our
command post," Miller said. "We know they're sensitive areas."
Anyone with information about the fire should call the arson tip
hotline at 1-800-540-8282.