REDWOOD CITY -- A serial arsonist convicted of setting a dozen fires across two South San Francisco neighborhoods was sentenced Thursday to seven years in state prison.

Jonas Tubon, 31, had pleaded no contest in late July to five counts of arson, along with one count of methamphetamine possession, for flinging flaming trash bags out of his pickup truck on two streets, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. While both were streets where he or his family lived, prosecutors say the arson didn't appear to be motivated by personal vendettas but rather by pyromania.

Tubon apologized at his sentencing to the court, his family and the victims, saying he never wanted to harm anybody and that he regretted what he did.

"He's what we call a classical fire bug," Wagstaffe said. "He just loved setting fires. He never gave us any reason to believe he wanted to hurt anybody, simply that he had a fascination with fire."

The arsons began in May 2010, when burning items began cropping up in front of Tubon's Callan Boulevard apartment building. Among the torched objects were a shopping cart, a bicycle, a door mat, assorted trash and the cabinet for a nearby fire extinguisher, along with a slew of wooden matches that appeared to have sparked the flames.

A second string of fires began appearing in March 2012 on nearby Waverly Court, where Tubon's family lived, Wagstaffe said. There he ignited various trash cans, a minivan and various vegetation, including a pile of brush behind his own family's home.

A neighbor installed a surveillance camera in the midst of the Waverly Court fires and submitted footage to police of Tubon hurling a fiery object from his truck toward their house, Wagstaffe said. When police found the matches and trash bags inside his truck, Tubon quickly admitted to lighting the bags on fire and tossing them into familiar neighborhoods.

In addition to his prison sentence, Tubon was ordered to pay a total of $2,480.27 to four of his victims, along with restitution amounts for other victims to be determined later, Wagstaffe said. While Tubon was given credit for 14 months of time served, he was denied probation when sentenced for the crimes.

Contact Erin Ivie at eivie@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.