Arsonist Watches First Responders Look for Him

Arsonist Watches First Responders Look for Him
Photo: Rainer Hirschfelder

Ventura County – The mountain community of Lockwood Valley, in the northernmost reaches of Ventura County, was the scene of a raging pre-dawn residential fire on May 3rd.

According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Deputy Sam Moss, a deputy attached to the Lockwood Valley Sheriff’s Station arrived on the scene to find “the residence fully engulfed in flames.”

Once Ventura County Fire Department personnel extinguished the fire and learned that the home’s resident, 61-year-old Rainer Hirschfelder, was missing, “investigators initially believed Hirshfelder has possibly perished in the fire.”

At that point, additional VCSD resources were summoned to the scene. Among them was a “cadaver K-9” expert at finding remains of deceased victims. But when the search proved fruitless, Hirshfelder became listed in the VCSD “missing person’s database.”

The following day, however, detectives made contact with Hirshfelder at a nearby residence. The cops then realized that Hirshfelder had “willfully and maliciously set fire to a bedroom in the residence” and used charcoal lighter fluid to assure the rapid destruction of the house which had been the recent subject of a bank forclosure.

Once the fire was set, Hirshfelder rapidly fled the premises through a pre-determined escape route, taking only a .357 caliber pistol with him. Further investigation revealed that Hirshfelder had been among the witnesses gathered outside the house watching firefighters put the fire out and then conduct an extensive search for his body.

Hirshfelder was taken into custody and transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was book on a charge of arson of an inhabited dwelling, with his bail set at $50,000.

Photo: Ventura County Jail Booking

Arsonist Watches First Responders Look for Him was last modified: May 9th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Ventura
Tags: arson