LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A suspect in a North Las Vegas arson investigation was arrested in California on Tuesday.

The North Las Vegas Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire on the 6000 block of Wood Thrush Place on March 5 at about 3:15 a.m. Arriving units found the home to be heavily engulfed in flames.

The home received significant damage and a search of the structure found no victims. The circumstances of the fire appeared suspicious and NLVFD arson investigators were called to the scene.

Through a review of nearby security camera footage, a man was observed starting the fire before quickly leaving the area. Dean Huggins, the owner of the residence, was identified as a person of interest.

Investigators contacted friends and family of Huggins and received word just after noon on March 5 that Huggins was at an unknown cemetery. Collaborative efforts between NLVFD and the North Las Vegas and Metro Communications Divisions led to finding Huggins’ precise location in a cemetery in Santa Barbara County.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office located Huggins and took him safely into custody around 2 p.m. on March 5. While in their custody, Huggins made incriminating statements regarding his involvement in the arson and was found to have sustained minor burns consistent with his activities during the incident.

Huggins is currently being held in Santa Barbara County and charges of first-degree arson were filed with the North Las Vegas Justice Court. NLVFD said it is “relieved that a potential tragedy was averted and Huggins was taken into custody without incident.”

Anyone who may have information about this case is urged to contact Commander Jeff Lomprey with the North Las Vegas Fire Department Fire Investigation Division at 702-669-3339.


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