The blaze spread rapidly and threatened nearby residences in the 5100 block of Andrew Jackson. Officers Frank McCutcheon and Ron Nevares were assigned to a traffic control position at North River Road and Del Rio Elementary.
Officer McCutcheon saw a Hispanic male on the south side of the 5200 block of North River Road. The Hispanic male, later identified as Alberto Serrato – 57 years old was pulling dry brush from the ground and placing it on the smoldering bushes. The spot where Serrato placed the brush erupted in flames and quickly spread.
Serrato was arrested at the location by the officers. He was later transported to the Vista Detention Facility.