Vehicle fire causes local hotel evacuation

The Vagabond Inn on South China Lake Boulevard was evacuated to protect guests as an early morning vehicle fire blazed in front of the hotel on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

A Ridgecrest Police Department press release from Detective Kenneth Merziak reported that two officers were dispatched in response to a call of the fire.

Officers Dilley and Tucker found a green vehicle engulfed in flames, parked in a stall directly in front of the hotel, which caused the officers to evacuate motel tenants to safety.

During the investigation, officers viewed video surveillance at the motel and identified Ronald Edgar Decker Jr., 38, as the alleged subject starting the fire, Merzlak reported.

Officer Tucker obtained an arrest warrant for Decker, who was arrested on arson and vandalism charges later that day by RPD detectives.

Story First Published: 2013-02-20