A man arrested Thursday morning for setting his own Westminster home on fire, which sent him and three others to the hospital, may have been trying to kill himself, according to authorities.
Three hours after the fire was reported around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, 61-year-old Enrique Mengoza returned to his single-story home in the 7800 block of 13th Street. He is alleged to have told Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) firefighters and other witnesses that he set the blaze.
Mengoza, who suffered third degree burns, was taken to UCI Medical
Center for treatment. Briefly hospitalized were a police sergeant, for
smoke inhalation, and a fire captain and a male resident of the home,
for minor burns.
“The motive of the fire seems to point toward a possible suicide
attempt, however this scenario is still being investigated,”
OCFA Westminster Police Cpl. Cameron Knauerhaze reportedly told the paper.
It took firefighters 20 minutes to knock down the fire, which totally destroyed the home and singed a neighboring residence.