San Diego County Sheriff's Department

Deputies Rescue Vista Woman From Home Set On Fire by Son Who Was High on Drugs

A close-up of a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy's patch.

An 87-year-old Vista resident had to be rescued from her burning home Friday after her son allegedly set fire to the residence while high on some sort of drug.

The woman made a 911 call shortly before 2 a.m. to report that her son was behaving violently in her residence in the 1300 block of Teelin Avenue and threatening to burn the house down, according to sheriff's Lt. Daniel Vengler.

The octogenarian then told a dispatcher the man had set a fire in a closet and that she was unable to get out of her home due to her limited mobility, Vengler said.

Arriving at the house to find the "frail" woman screaming for help inside, a deputy forced entry and helped her to safety, the lieutenant said. Her son was gone by then, but patrol personnel found him down the street a short time later and took him into custody without incident, Vengler said.

Paramedics took the victim to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and evaluation for any other trauma suffered during her ordeal.

Her son, whose name was not immediately available, was booked into county jail on suspicion of arson and elder abuse. He allegedly admitted to deputies that he was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the purported crimes, according to Vengler.

The American Red Cross will help the victim arrange for emergency shelter, the lieutenant said.

Contact Us