BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield police said a woman has been arrested in connection to a car fire late Sunday outside the KGET studios forcing an evacuation of the building and an interruption of the 11 p.m. newscast. Police officials said the fire appeared to have been set intentionally.
Police identified the woman as Amber Hernandez, 40. She was arrested for attempted arson of an inhabited building, Bakersfield police said in a statement.
The fire was reported at around 11 p.m. on M Street near 22nd Street in Downtown Bakersfield. A vehicle was found burning outside the parking lot gates of the building. Bakersfield police Sgt. Jason Townsend said an officer was in the area and heard several explosions nearby. The officer found an abandoned vehicle burning, facing the wrong direction close to parking lot gates of the studio.
Townsend said the fire and explosion appeared to be an intentional act. He said several items, that appeared to be crosses, were left against the parking lot gate. 17 News staffers described 13 wooden crosses about 5 to 7 feet tall outside the gates. Two of them were draped with what appeared to be wedding dresses, a third with a man’s suit jacket.
Video from a camera atop the KGET studio showed an intense fire, with flames shooting as high as 20 feet into the air.
Early Monday morning, Sgt. Sean Morphis said Bakersfield firefighters arrived and put out the fire to the burning vehicle. Morphis said a person was detained near the area for questioning.
The Bakersfield Police Department and the Bakersfield Fire Department arrested 40-year-old Amber Hernandez, of Bakersfield, for attempted arson of an inhabited building.
Police bomb squad officers were called to the scene “out of an abundance of caution” because of the proximity to the KGET studio, Morphis said.
Details of the incident itself were not immediately known. Morphis said the fire to the vehicle appeared to have been set intentionally, but couldn’t confirm an explosion from the vehicle. An arson investigation is ongoing and no possible motive was revealed.
No injuries were reported.
We will update this story as we learn more information.