Suspects set themselves ablaze while attempting to set a building fire, officials say

California authorities say arsonists accidentally set themselves on fire while trying to set a building on fire. (Source: KBAK, CNN)
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 8:50 PM EST

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK) - Authorities in California say two arsonists were caught on camera accidentally setting themselves on fire.

Surveillance video reportedly captured the two suspects wearing dark clothing and pouring what appeared to be gasoline on the ground and onto the side of a building.

The Kern County Fire Department said it was initially called on Monday about a ground fire that was outside of a small business.

However, the surveillance video told fire officials a different story, showing two suspects trying to set fire to an immigration service business.

Authorities said the video showed one of the suspects catching fire after dousing gasoline on the building and igniting a flame.

“The footage is quite dramatic, and we hope that these individuals are identified quickly,” said Kern County Fire Department Capt. Andrew Freeborn.

Fire officials said crews extinguished the flames in about 10 minutes but there were no signs of the suspects involved.

According to the fire captain, smoke got inside the building, and firefighters were able to keep the flames contained to the garage area.

An industrial fan was burned in the fire along with a Ring security camera.

The immigration services owner said he is devastated regarding the fire.

The business owner said part of his services is to help file his clients’ taxes and with tax season nearing, the future of the business is uncertain.

Kern County fire officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying the two arsonists.