Man admits using blow torch in arson

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SAN DIEGO — A previously convicted arsonist who used a blow torch to set a fire between two homes in Normal Heights pleaded guilty Monday to an arson charge.

Enrique Madrigal, 26, will be sentenced to four years and four months in state prison at a hearing Jan. 8.

Madrigal was on probation for starting a fire in a local park when he was caught setting fire to brush and plants in an approximately  two-foot area between houses in the 5100 block of North Mountain View Drive about 2 a.m. on Sept. 29.

“Fortunately, the victims’ dogs started barking and awoke them and alerted them to what was going on,” Deputy District Attorney Ted Fiorito said after Madrigal’s arraignment.

The prosecutor said Madrigal had a blow torch and some engine degreaser – – used to accelerate the fire — when he was arrested nearby.

Defense attorney Jamahl Kersey said Madrigal’s guilty was a fair resolution to the case.

The attorney called the arson between the two houses a random act. Madrigal pleaded guilty on the day of his scheduled preliminary hearing.

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