Crime - Sacto 911

Elk Grove man set his own house on fire after argument, then fled, police say

An Elk Grove man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly setting his own house on fire following an argument, police said.

Shawn Viramontes, 37, faces charges of attempted murder, arson and violent threats after police say he intentionally started a fire in his own bedroom, then fled the residence on foot, according to a news release by the Elk Grove Police Department.

Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department crews responded to the fire, in the 8700 block of Valley Oak Lane, just before 3 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

Viramontes is alleged to have started the fire following an argument with other occupants of the house, during which he threatened them, according to the news release.

The others inside the house noticed the smoke coming from Viramontes’ bedroom and were able to escape safely.

Elk Grove police began a search for Viramontes with air support in an adjacent neighborhood. Nearby Florence Markofer Elementary School was locked down as a precaution for 10 minutes starting at about 3:15 p.m., after the school day had already ended, according to the Elk Grove Police Department.

Viramontes was located and detained near El Oro Plaza and Emerald Park drives at about 3:25 p.m., the Elk Grove Police Department said in tweets.

No injuries were reported in the incident, and the damage by the fire was limited to the original residence, according to the news release.

Viramontes was booked into Sacramento County jail, where he is ineligible for bail.

Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.