Woman arrested in connection with car fire outside California TV station

National

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman has been arrested in connection with a car fire late Sunday outside the KGET studios that forced an evacuation of the building and an interruption of the 11 p.m. newscast, police said.

Police officials said the fire appeared to have been set intentionally.

Amber Hernandez, 40, was arrested on suspicion of attempted arson of an inhabited building, Bakersfield police said in a statement.

The fire was reported around 11 p.m. in downtown Bakersfield. A vehicle was found burning outside the parking lot gates of the building.

Bakersfield police Sgt. Jason Townsend said an officer was in the area and heard several explosions nearby. The officer found an abandoned vehicle burning, facing the wrong direction close to the parking lot gates of the studio.

Townsend said the fire and explosion appeared to be an intentional act. He said several items that appeared to be crosses were left against the parking lot gate.

Studio staffers described 13 wooden crosses about 5 to 7 feet tall outside the gates. Two of them were draped with what appeared to be wedding dresses and a third with a man’s suit jacket.

Video from a camera atop the KGET studio showed an intense fire, with flames shooting as high as 20 feet into the air.

Early Monday morning, Sgt. Sean Morphis said Bakersfield firefighters arrived and put out the fire to the burning vehicle. Morphis said a person was detained near the area for questioning.

Police bomb squad officers were called to the scene “out of an abundance of caution” because of the proximity to the KGET studio, Morphis said.

Further details of the incident itself were not immediately known, and Morphis couldn’t confirm an explosion from the vehicle. An arson investigation is ongoing and no motive was revealed.

No injuries were reported.

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