Thursday, 29 February 2024

Fire burns Cobb structure; man taken into custody nearby

COBB – A Friday fire destroyed a residence and burned an acre of wildland in the Cobb area.

Authorities also arrested at the scene 58-year-old Richard David Blount of Cobb, who appeared to be attempting to set a fire. However, Blount's actual role in the main fire hasn't yet been determined.

South Lake County Fire Protection Battalion Chief Rich Boehm said the fire was dispatched just minutes before noon. It was located in the area of Observation Road and Loch Lomond Road.

A total of about 45 firefighters from South Lake County and Cal fire, as well as inmate crews, responded and got to work quickly, said Boehm.

Several aircraft also had helped with the firefighting effort, Cal Fire reported.

There was a structure that a person was living in that “went real fast,” Boehm said. He estimated the amount of adjacent wildland that burned was about an acre in size.

Shortly after the fire was dispatched, the Lake County Sheriff's Office received a request for assistance from Cal Fire, which reported that two subjects were at the scene obstructing firefighters, according to sheriff's Capt. James Bauman.

Bauman said several patrol units responded to the fire. As deputies were on their way, Cal Fire further reported that the subjects were threatening the crews as they battled the blaze and one of the subjects was screaming that he “was the devil.”

When deputies arrived at the scene, Cal Fire personnel led deputies to an area of the fire line where the two subjects had apparently fled, Bauman said.

Bauman said deputies found Blount kneeling at the fire line trying to light matches. They confronted him and, following a brief struggle, took him into custody.

While he was being arrested Blount threatened to kill one of the deputies, said Bauman.

Blount was immediately transported from the scene of the fire and booked at the Lake County Jail on felony charges of arson and threatening a peace officer, as well as a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, said Bauman.

He said it's unknown who was the second subject who had been reported to be obstructing Cal Fire crews at the scene, as that individual left prior to the deputies’ arrival.

Boehm said Blount is known to locals as having “some problems,” and his part in the actual fire isn't certain. Officials are continuing to investigate the cause, said Boehm.

Firefighters were expected to have completed mop up on the fire area around 5 p.m. Friday, Boehm said.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at .

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