Update: Suspected arsonist had matches, lighter, cigarettes when he left area of Elverta grass fire

Placer County Sheriff’s officials say a man arrested on suspicion of setting a 430-acre grass fire in Elverta Monday was found walking from the scene with matches, cigarettes and a cigarette lighter.

David A. Petrashishen, 25, of Rancho Cordova, was being held Tuesday on $300,000 bail in connection with the arson fire. He was booked Monday night into Placer County Jail on two arson-related charges.

One home, two outbuildings, six vehicles and one tractor were destroyed. Area residents reported that the house that burned was vacant.

The fire, which began in Placer County just before 1 p.m., was wind-driven and threatened 20 to 30 homes, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District officials said.

The fire burned in the area of Browning Street and Locust Road near the Sacramento-Placer county line. It moved rapidly through fields as firefighters battled north winds, but Metro Fire said shortly after 4 p.m. Monday that firefighters had stopped the forward progress of the blaze.

Two witnesses said that they spotted a man near the fire’s origin, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. The witnesses provided a detailed description of the man they spotted near the blaze to firefighters, a description that eventually led to a deputy arresting Petrashishen.

The sheriff’s office release said that the deputy saw Petrashsishen walk out of the fire area and noted that he matched the description provided by the witnessess. When the deputy detained him, Petrashishen was carrying a cigarette lighter, a book of matches and a pack of cigarettes.

“During the interview at the jail, Petrashishen made numerous admissions,” the release stated.

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