LA MESA (CNS) - A 31-year-old resident whose cigarette sparked a fire that gutted his La Mesa home and damaged another was behind bars Saturday in connection with the blaze, police said.
Jackson Pavlicek of La Mesa allegedly extinguished a cigarette in the backyard of the single-story house in the 9100 block of Dillon Drive near Bancroft Drive, which caused the surrounding dry brush to catch fire, and spread to the house, according to La Mesa police officials.
The non-injury blaze ignited nearby trees and bushes, including some in neighboring yards, and caused minor damage to the roof of a nearby residence, Heartland Fire & Rescue spokesman Sonny Saghera said.
Police officers and firefighters were called to the about 3:15 p.m. Friday, according to La Mesa police and fire officials. The blaze was subdued in about an hour, at which time La Mesa Police Department Arson Investigators were called.
Pavlicek and the home's two other residents got out of the house and were contacted by officers a short distance away, police said.
Following the investigation, Pavlicek was arrested on suspicion of reckless burning of property and booked into San Diego Central Jail, police said.
The American Red Cross was called in to help the adult residents of the destroyed home arrange for emergency lodging.