Man hospitalized then arrested on suspicion of setting fire at West Long Beach business

A man was arrested today after authorities found him inside a West Long Beach business where he’s accused of breaking in and starting a fire, police said.

Police first responded at about 5:50 a.m. to a report of an unwelcome subject inside a business that’s under construction in the 1900 block of West Pacific Coast Highway, just west of Santa Fe Avenue. When officers arrived, they saw smoke coming from within, according to Long Beach police spokesman Rudy Garcia.

Long Beach firefighters soon arrived and forced their way into the business to extinguish the fire. Once the fire was put out, officers entered the business and took the suspect into custody without incident, police said.

The man was briefly hospitalized after sustaining minor injuries from the fire, Garcia said.

Once cleared from the hospital, he was booked at Long Beach Jail on suspicion of arson, obstruction, burglary and being a felon in possession of ammo, police said. His bail was set at $75,000.

Authorities identified the man as 61-year-old Wilmington resident Richard Calderon. The Long Beach Fire Department’s arson unit is investigating the incident.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.