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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Monday May 6th, 2019 :: 04:43 p.m. PDT


News Story - Arson Suspect Arrested

Nature of Incident: Arson Suspect Arrested

Incident Number: 19-68671

Location: 32752 Birch Trail, Frazier Park, CA 93225

Date: 05/04/19

Unit(s) Responsible: Lockwood Valley Deputies, Major Crimes Detective Bureau, Ventura County Fire Department, Kern County Fire Department

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age

(A) Rainer Hirschfelder Frazier Park, CA 61

Narrative: On May 3, 2019, a deputy from the Lockwood Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to a residential fire at 32752 Birch Trail in Frazier Park (Ventura County). The deputy arrived on scene shortly before 0500 a.m. and observed the residence was fully engulfed in flames. During the fire investigation, investigators learned the resident was (A) Rainer Hirschfelder.

Hirschfelder’s home had recently been repossessed by the bank and was resold on 05/02/19. Based on witness interviews with neighbors and friends, investigators initially believed Hirschfelder had possibly perished in the fire. Additional resources, including a cadaver K-9, responded to the residence to search for Hirschfelder with negative results. Hirschfelder was entered into the missing person’s database pending further investigation.

On May 4, 2019, Hirschfelder was located and contacted at a residence in Lockwood Valley. The subsequent investigation revealed that Hirschfelder willfully and maliciously set fire to a bedroom in the residence using a lighter. Hirschfelder then used lighter fluid to douse the residence and accelerate the spread and intensity of the fire. Hirschfelder evacuated the residence through a pre-planned exit while maintaining possession of a .357 caliber revolver. Hirschfelder watched as emergency first responders arrived to the residence and continued to watch throughout the day while firefighters extinguished the flames and searched through the rubble for Hirschfelder’s remains.

Hirschfelder was arrested for a violation of Penal Code 451(b) – Arson of an inhabited dwelling and was booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility. Hirschfelder will remain in custody pending the posting of $50,000 bail.

Prepared by: Deputy Sam Moss

News Release Date: 05/04/19

Media Follow-Up Contact: Deputy Robert Steele (661) 245-3829

Approved by: Captain J. Fryhoff

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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