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Sheriff’s deputies responding to a small brush fire Monday morning in Vista arrested a 22-year-old man suspected of sparking that blaze as well as several others late last week in Vista and Oceanside, authorities said.

Monday’s fire was reported around 8:30 a.m. near Melrose Drive close to where Oceanside Boulevard turns into West Bobier Drive, according to Sgt. Anthony Portillo from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s bomb/arson unit. The site is near the boundary between Vista and Oceanside.

Vista patrol deputies detained a 22-year-old man near the scene, and detectives from the bomb/arson unit arrested him following an investigation, Portillo said. Detectives believe he sparked Monday morning’s fire and several other small blazes Thursday, and arrested him on suspicion of six felony counts of arson.

Firefighters quickly extinguished each of the suspicious fires without damage to nearby structures and without injuries, Portillo said.

Thursday’s first fire was reported just before 1 p.m. near La Tortuga Drive and Hacienda Drive, just south of state Route 78 and about two miles from where Monday’s fire occurred and deputies arrested the suspect.

Just before 4 p.m. Thursday, a second fire was reported at the same location near La Tortuga Drive. During that second call, witnesses reported seeing a man starting several fires in that area, Portillo said. About four hours later and two miles away, Oceanside police responded to a report of a man trying to start a fire.

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Jail records showed the man suspected of sparking the fires remained in custody Monday night at the Vista Detention Facility in lieu of $450,000 bail.

Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com

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