Police say they rushed to the scene of a gas station fire this morning after firefighters reported finding a person inside with a gun, but when the man was taken into custody, authorities didn’t find any weapon.
The situation started around 9 a.m. when a man went into a gas station at Atlantic Avenue and Wardlow Road where he started lighting items on fire in a stockroom, according to a Long Beach fire official.
When an employee tried to stop him, there was an altercation, according to the LBFD, and when firefighters arrived, they called in police, thinking the man may have been armed.
Firefighters helped subdue the man until officers arrived and took him into custody, according to the department.
When police arrested the man, they did not find any weapon, according to LBPD spokesman Brandon Fahey.
Police identified the man as a 51-year-old resident of Bellflower. He was arrested on suspicion of arson and booked into Long Beach Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail, Fahey said.
The gas station employee was taken to the hospital to treat burns he sustained trying to put out the fire, but nobody else was hurt, according to a Long Beach Fire Department official.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with more information from police and fire officials.
Support our journalism.
Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.