SANTA ANA ( — The 19-year-old son of a firefighter has been arrested in connection with a series of arson fires that took place in eastern Orange County last week.

Gabriel Michael Castillo, of Anaheim Hills, was taken into custody Sunday and booked on charges of arson following an investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, OC Fire Authority, the Anaheim Police Department and Anaheim Fire & Rescue.

Between noon and 3:45 p.m. Aug. 19, three brush fires were intentionally set near homes in Yorba Linda. Possibly two more were set in Anaheim Hills.

No one was injured and no structures were damaged.

“There were several fires set in a very short period of time, so that was a concern to all of the agencies involved in the investigation,” Lt. Jeffrey Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.

Hallock said security tape from a Yorba Linda business helped nab Castillo, who has prior narcotics and petty theft convictions.

“It was a vehicle that was connected to Mr. Castillo that led us to him,” he said.

Authorities said Castillo is the son of an 18-year veteran of the OC Fire Authority who was stationed in Santa Ana.

“His father is a model employee. It hits particularly close to home for us. This is the very thing his father spent his entire career, getting burned, bruised, and bled, over stopping this tragedy from impacting other people’s lives,” Chief Kelly Zimmerman of the OCFA said.

Anyone with additional information on the crime was encouraged to call (714)647-7000 or the Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855)TIP-OCCS.


Arsonist Sought In 3 Eastern Orange County Fires


Leave a Reply