TRABUCO CANYON (CBSLA.com) — Investigators questioned a man in his 20s who refused medical treatment and left the scene of a remote cabin in upper Trabuco Canyon where a fire broke out Wednesday night.
Authorities determined that the fire was not suspicious and do not believe the man intentionally or negligently set the fire, which destroyed two cabins in the area and burned two acres, causing $325,000 worth of damage.
Firefighters were called after a structure fire in Holy Jim Canyon and two other nearby brush fires were reported around 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.
Two cabins were destroyed before crews doused the flames shortly after 9 p.m., officials said.
Investigators initially believed the fire originated in Cabin Number 10 in West Horse Thief Canyon. Two brothers who had been off-roading in the area came upon the cabin and its resident and captured dramatic cell phone footage of the structure burning.
“The fire had started in the house and just broken out of one of the windows so it started to go and engulf the roof of the cabin,” said witness Nick Gladden, who said the man was “not very respondent” to their attempts to move him away from the cabin.
“We kept pulling him, just trying to get him away from there and eventually he did give in to us,” Gladden said.
The unidentified resident was burned but refused to be treated, according to authorities.
“We don’t have his name, and he left,” Concialdi said. “Right now we’re looking for him. We would like to ask him a few questions about what he was doing at the time, where he thought the fire started.”
Authorities later questioned the man, whose family owned the cabin in West Horse Thief Canyon.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports Orange County firefighters are on alert for more hot spots to pop up as low humidity levels and gusty winds roll into the Southland.
Concialdi said around 95 people worked the fire lines after air support kept things from really getting out of control.
“This fire could’ve been 10,000 acres if we would have not had the helicopter and the winds would’ve been more severe,” he said.
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