A 26-year-old Huntington Beach man was arrested in connection with an arson that engulfed 14 cars in an apartment complex carport Sunday, authorities said.
Two people suffered minor injuries in the blaze, which erupted at 4:05 a.m. at the Our Town Apartments, at Fairview Road and Adams Avenue, Costa Mesa Police Lt. Gary Webster said.
Less than an hour later at a nearby shopping center, a man who told police about a fire in a trash barrel was arrested on suspicion of starting the carport fire, Webster said. Michael J. Denicola was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail at the city jail.
Webster said one of the arresting officers had recognized Denicola from the crowd of onlookers at the carport fire. Denicola was carrying matches when he was taken into custody.
Fire officials said the exact source of the flames remained under investigation Sunday. Webster said one of the burned vehicles may have belonged to a former roommate of Denicola's.
Acting Battalion Chief Barry Adams said 13 of the cars were destroyed by the flames, as was the carport. Damage was estimated at $170,000.
Webster said 24-year-old tenant Francisco Lopez was treated for minor burns to one foot suffered when he tried to back his vehicle out of the flaming carport. Adams said one firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation and later released in good condition.