Arson charges filed in Los Angeles County brush fire

February 15, 2022 GMT

DOWNEY, Calif. (AP) — A man has been charged with starting a Southern California brush fire that destroyed two homes and severely damaged four others during windy, dry weather last week, authorities said.

Kevin Whitlock, 54, of Whittier was scheduled for arraignment Tuesday on multiple arson counts, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. It was not immediately known if Whitlock had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

Prosecutors alleged that Whitlock started a fire in a brush area of Whittier below several houses on two streets. Wind quickly spread the fire up the hill.

In addition to the six houses destroyed or damaged, the fire also damaged the backyard of another property.

The fire erupted hours after a wildfire driven by gusty Santa Ana winds threatened the Orange County community of Emerald Bay near Laguna Beach. No homes were damaged in the latter fire.