'Suspicious' fire destroys Agua Dulce home, sparks brush fire

AGUA DULCE, Calif. (KABC) -- A fire being deemed suspicious destroyed a home in Agua Dulce early Monday and spread to brush, which prompted a quick response from several firefighters.

Los Angeles County firefighters responded to a call of the fully involved house fire at about 3 a.m. in the 12600 block of Sierra Highway. Officials later confirmed the fire took place in an apartment-like space above a garage that stored vintage cars.

The apartment, cars and a motor home completely burned before the fire quickly moved to a barn and nearby vegetation, fire officials said.

Within the first hour, the brush fire grew to three acres along a hillside near the home. Twelve engines and four hand crews were at the scene and got a quick handle on the flames. Just two hours later, the blaze was declared a knockdown, according to Mark Whaling of the L.A. County Fire Department.

Officials said no one was inside the home during the structure fire and no injuries were reported.

Fire officials said there is a dispute between the renter in the apartment-like space and the property owner. The renter said he received an eviction notice and accused the property owner of sparking the fire, but friends of the property owner are accusing the renter of starting the blaze.

The property owner's daughter denies he had anything to do with the fire and said she's confident security cameras will prove that. Meantime, she said her father is devastated with the loss of his cars.

Officials said the cause of the fire appears to be suspicious and remains under investigation.
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