Calif. Fire Victim Stops Potential Arsonist in Anaheim - NBC 7 San Diego
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Calif. Fire Victim Stops Potential Arsonist in Anaheim

Ventura resident Josh Vietti was in Anaheim after the Thomas Fire forced his family to flee

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    NEWSLETTERS

    SoCal Man Stops Potential Arsonist After Fleeing Fire

    After hearing about a potential arsonist on the loose around Southern California's Anaheim Hills Festival shopping center, two good samaritans took it upon themselves to track down the suspect. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (Published Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017)

    A man suspected of setting fires near the Anaheim Hills Festival shopping center Friday was detained after a brave Ventura resident escaping one of Southern California's wildfires sprung into action to stop him.

    The man believed to be an arsonist was wearing all black and seen starting multiple vegetation fires near the shopping center before Josh Vietti stopped him, according to an Anaheim Fire & Rescue Department official.

    "I heard rustling in the bushes so I tied my dog on the fire hydrant and just took off running toward the bushes," Vietti said.

    Vietti and a second good Samaritan, Scott Nelson, followed the suspected arsonist. Upon confrontation, he claimed he was trying to start a campfire.

    The two men stayed with the suspect until authorities were able to detain him for questioning.

    Vietti was in Anaheim after the Thomas Fire forced his family to leave. He never expected that fleeing the blaze would lead him to stop another potential fire.