A man suspected of intentionally setting his second-floor apartment on fire and fleeing into the surrounding south Redondo Beach neighborhood with a large knife has been arrested, authorities said Thursday.
Michael William Wolfe, 46, was taken into custody by Redondo Beach police after a brief search near the 1700 block of Camino de la Costa.
The Redondo Beach Fire Department received a report at 7:26 a.m. of a fire in the 1700 block of The Esplanade.
While en route, fire crews received a report from Los Angeles County lifeguards that a man armed with a large knife, possibly a machete, was seen leaving the building, Redondo Beach fire Division Chief Steve Hyink said.
Police set up a containment area in the surrounding neighborhood, while fire crews battled the blaze.
Residents were asked by police to remain in their homes or evacuate the area until Wolfe was found. Police found a knife and ignition device near where Wolfe was arrested, Hyink said.
Wolfe was arrested after a 62-minute search and taken to Torrance Memorial Medical Center with burn injuries to his head and feet, Hyink said. He remains in custody.
The fire, which was contained to the second-story apartment, appeared to be intentionally set, Hyink said.
No other injuries were reported. Wolfe was in the process of being evicted, Hyink said.
- Douglas Morino