Man Charged With Arson in Whittier Brush Fire That Burned Homes

15February 2022

A man faces arson charges in a brush fire that spread to homes during a hot and windy day last week in Whittier.

Investigators said Kevin Whitlock, 55, was found on a hiking trail suffering from minor burn injuries on Thursday afternoon while fire crews fought flames near hillside homes. He was charged Monday with six counts of arson of an inhabited structure or property and one count each of arson of property of another and arson of a structure or forest, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Downey. He remains jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail, according to sheriff’s records.

It was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

The fire heavily damaged three homes in the 11700 block of Banyon Rim Drive on a day of high fire danger that included strong Santa Ana winds. The fire tore through brush below a cul de sac with a number of homes.

In a statement Friday, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said Special Enforcement Bureau Arson Explosives Detail is investigating the fire, and detectives arrested a suspect found in the canyon with burns.

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