Perris man charged in fatal fire

Times Staff Writer

Authorities Sunday arrested a mentally disabled man who said he set fire to the Perris group home where he lived, killing one man and injuring two others, officials said.

Daniel Konold, 28, admitted setting the Saturday blaze after he was arrested about 1 a.m. Sunday, said Capt. Mort Allen of the Riverside County Fire Department.

Konold, who was charged with murder and felony arson, used a hand-held disposable lighter to set bedding on fire in the common area of Perris Place, a board and care facility for the mentally disabled, Allen said.

Konold left the home after the fire began early Saturday morning. Officials said they had not determined why the fire was set. Konold had lived in the 22-unit home for less than a year.


One resident died in the common area of the home as he was trying to escape through a rear exit, Allen said. The body had not been identified because it was so badly charred, a coroner’s official said.

Two others who were in the building suffered minor burns. The rest of the home’s 40 residents and a caretaker escaped unharmed, officials said.

The fire caused about $200,000 in damage to the 5,000-square-foot building. Most of the rooms, other than the common area, sustained only smoke damage, Allen said.

Fire officials arrived at the scene Saturday after an anonymous caller reported the fire from a pay phone near the home about 3:30 a.m., officials said. Riverside County sheriff’s homicide investigators were later called when officials determined that the fire had been deliberately set.