Oceanside firefighter escapes injury in knife attack

An Oceanside firefighter fended off a knife attack by an arson suspect while responding to a call about a house fire late Thursday night, authorities said.

The 47-year-old male suspect was arrested on charges of arson and assault, authorities said. Police used a dog to subdue the man, who was transferred to a local hospital for treatment for a dog bite.

Firefighters got a call about a house fire just before 11 p.m. on Strawberry Place near Mira Costa College, Oceanside Fire Battalion Chief Jessamyn Specht said.


As firefighters searched for the source of the smoke, Oceanside police officers outside spotted someone running inside the house, Specht said.

When a firefighter went back to inspect a bedroom, the man jumped out and swung a large knife at the firefighter, Specht said. The firefighter pushed the man against a wall and was not injured, he said.

When officers tried to arrest the man, he ripped apart a dresser and hurled pieces of it at them, police Lt. Kedrick Sadler said.

Offices fired a Taser at the man, but it was not effective, he said. A police dog then was used to subdue the man, and he was taken into custody.

Firefighters found that the smoke was coming from a burning laptop computer sitting on the stove. They used fans to blow the smoke out of the house.

One police officer was treated for minor smoke inhalation, Specht said.

Repard writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.