Arson Spotlighted at Firehouse World

Firehouse World 2010 officially opened Tuesday at the San Diego, Calif. Convention Center along with the Calif. State Firefighters Association's annual conference.


The arsonist of the Esperanza Fire, Raymond Oyler, was sentenced in 2009 to death, and the case has already been used as a precedent to charge another arsonist with murder, Maclean said.

"The Oyler case was no sure thing," Maclean said. "It was not an easy process, and it was in doubt until the very end." He said it was won by several things: the legal strategy to show his connection to as many as 80-100 fires that summer; the CAL FIRE arson unit's meticulous evidence collecting at these many small fires; fire departments' cooperation in preserving the point of origin at fires for investigation; and the prosecutor's arraignment for the relevant fire investigators to be available throughout the trial -- almost daily -- to provide clarity and expertise.

It is clear that today an arson case can result in a murder charge and the death penalty... which will hopefully result in pause, Maclean said.