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Carpet Installer Arrested After Fire

A carpet installer who allegedly started a fire by smoking on the job Monday was arrested afterward, but for another reason.

Police who went to the house fire at 6 Sandstone noticed the carpet installer’s license plate number--and discovered an outstanding warrant for his arrest involving a suspended driver’s license, police said.

The odd series of events began when Gary Leonard, 45, of Orange and an unidentified partner backed their van into the open garage of an empty, two-story house to begin installing carpet at about 1:30 p.m.

Leonard, who told authorities he had been smoking, apparently started a fire in his van which quickly spread to the garage, causing an estimated $12,000 damage, Orange County Fire Capt. Dan Young said.

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Irvine police officers, who were sent to route traffic around the firefighters, discovered the warrant for Leonard’s arrest stemming from a failure to appear in court.


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