VISTA–A 23 year-old man was arrested for intentionally torching a residence in Vista, Sheriff’s deputies said Friday.
On Friday, members of the Fugitive Task Force arrested Francisco “Frankie” Castro, 23, for arson to an inhabited dwelling and property.
This concludes a near nine-month investigation by the Sheriff’s Bomb/Arson Unit. The fire occurred on October, 2, 20014 in a residence located at 10320 Prospect Avenue, in Santee.
The residence at one point had housed upwards of 50 people, and had been the subject of investigations by the Santee Sheriff’s Station, Santee City Code Enforcement, as well as the District Attorney’s Office, for violations ranging from standards of living, allegations of sexual assault, to misuse of government EBT cards.
At the time of the fire, most of the occupants had been notified that the “House of Hope” was closing its doors, and had left voluntarily. However, a handful of occupants had remained, and were under a court imposed eviction order, which would have resulted in a “lock out” the day after the fire occurred.
Castro was determined to have intentionally started a fire inside the residence, which resulted in significant damage.
He is in custody in San Diego Central Jail, with a bail amount of $200,000.00. His arraignment was held Friday at an El Cajon courtroom.