Neighbor talks about encountering alleged serial arsonist

Posted at 5:49 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 21:41:41-04
A man who was identified as 41- year-old Damon Franklin was taken into custody this morning in connection to seven fires that took place in Oildale in a matter of two days.
A woman who lives in the area, who did not want to be identified said the alleged arsonist asked her for a bucket of water to wash up while she was outside of her home this morning.
She gave it to him assuming he might've been homeless.
"When I brought him out the bucket of water... or the soap and bucket of water he asked me for a match and I told him 'I can't give you a match I don't have one. You're doing too much at six o'clock in the morning'. He said 'okay' and went on his way," the woman said.
About an hour and a half later, Kern County Fire responded to a fire near Pilot and North Chester Avenues at 7:25 a.m.
Firefighters found two trash cans and a utility trailer with tree branches engulfed in flames.
The owner of the utility truck, Robert Kinney said his dog woke him up and he noticed flames just two feet away from his bedroom window.
"If I hadn't woken up it probably would've been a few moments [before] the roof would've been on fire," Kinney said.
Now officials are working to see if the man arrested near Day Avenue, just a block from this morning's fire, is involved in the other ones that happened this yesterday.
"We're happy to report that there were no injuries but there were several near misses. These fires could've been a lot worse," Jason Knaggs from Kern County Fire said.