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Man arrested in alleged arson

Detectives: Blaze put several disabled apartment residents in danger

Posted: October 30, 2009 10:05 p.m.
Updated: October 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
A Valencia man faces possible attempted murder charges after he allegedly started a fire in an elevator in a county-run housing facility for senior and disabled residents, officials said.

Deputies arrested Jay Peter Mizak, 23, Thursday afternoon after he allegedly sparked a fire Wednesday night at the Orchard Arms apartment complex on Wiley Canyon Road in Valencia, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Ray Walker of the arson detail unit.

Mizak is being held without bail because of the danger the fire posed to wheelchair-bound senior and disabled residents on the second floor, Walker said.

"There would be no way for them to escape," Walker said. "There's stairs, but if you're in a wheelchair and you can't get around, and your only means of escape is an elevator, you're kind of stuck."

Walker said the fire was small but still caused damage.

"It was a minor fire because circumstances didn't let it get any bigger, but it caused about $1,000 in damage to the elevator itself," he said.

Detectives were still investigating the case, and charges still need to be considered by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, he added.

Mizak is scheduled to appear in Santa Clarita Superior Court on Monday.

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