Upon arrival deputies received information from a citizen that a white male adult was seen walking away from the fire and provided a direction of travel and a description to the deputies. Deputy S. Andrews conducted an area check and a white male adult matching the description was located about a half mile west of the incident location walking on Reche Road.
Deputy Andrews made contact with the subject, identified as Bernard McFadden 28 years old, resident of Landers, and learned he was the subject who lived at the incident location with his 56 years old mother Jesse McFadden.
Jesse could not be accounted for and was thought to be inside the burning structure. Through investigation, Jesse was found at another location and fire personnel confirmed that only a deceased dog was found in the debris.
It was learned that Bernard was using a propane torch in his bedroom which caught his bed on fire and he was unable to extinguish it. He exhibited signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance and a usable quantity of methamphetamine was found on his person.
The residence, out buildings and motor vehicles were completely destroyed by the fire, estimated at a $60,000 loss. Bernard was arrested for reckless setting of a fire to an inhabited structure not belonging to him and possession on a controlled substance. He was booked into the Morongo Basin jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.