Press "Enter" to skip to content

Police name arson suspect in the Ranch2 fire burning in Azusa

Police identified a man late Friday night suspected of igniting a blaze in the San Gabriel Riverbed, which eventually grew into the Ranch2 fire that has burned 1,500 acres in Azusa and the Angeles National Forest.

Shortly after first responders arrived in the area of North San Gabriel Canyon Road and North Ranch Road on Thursday afternoon to battle the fast-moving fire, Azusa police and Los Angeles county fire investigators spoke to several sources who said they witnessed an altercation between the suspect and one other man, which led the suspect to set a fire in the riverbed, said Azusa police Lt. Jorge Sandoval.

Police named Osmin Palencia, 36, as the suspect in what is considered an arson investigation. His whereabouts were unknown as of Friday night. Palencia’s last known residence is an encampment in the Azusa Canyon Riverbed, near the origin of the Ranch2 fire, police said.

Sandoval said he did not know any further details about the altercation that led up to the alleged arson. No one was hospitalized or received medical treatment as a result of the altercation, he said.

Palencia “is believed to be violent and the public is advised to use caution if they see him,” police said in a statement. No other details about him were provided.

After igniting about 2:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the Ranch2 fire, formerly named “the Ranch fire,” exploded from 2 acres to more than 1,000 acres by sunset.

The blaze forced hundreds of residents living in the Mountain Cove community to flee their homes. Though as the fire shifted direction toward the Angeles National Forest and away from the foothill housing tract, residents were allowed to return to their homes later Thursday evening.

Fire crews were unable to contain any portions of the fire as of Friday night.

Anyone with information about Palencia’s whereabouts is asked to call Azusa police at 626-812-3200.

Source: Orange County Register

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *