A 19-year-old Los Gatos man has been charged with arson after being suspected of twice setting fire to the home of a former high school classmate, police said.
Landon Cramer, a student at Chico State, was arrested Wednesday after police searched his Chirco Avenue home. He has since been charged with two counts each of arson, possessing an incendiary device and burglary, along with one count of cruelty to an animal.
Cramer was booked into County Jail but has since been freed on $500,000 bail, according to Los Gatos police.
The first fire occurred Oct. 28 at a home in the Vista Del Monte neighborhood, inflicting extensive damage to the structure and smoke inhalation injuries to the family dog, which had to be resuscitated. Investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set with some sort of liquid accelerant in two spots: the family room and the bedroom of the family's teenage daughter.
On Jan. 12, the house caught fire again and arson was again suspected, said Sgt. Kerry Harris.
After interviewing the family and other sources, police and investigators from the Santa Clara County Fire Department eventually suspected Cramer, a former classmate of the family's daughter at Los Gatos High School, Harris said.
"There was a dynamic going on that led them to have some initial concerns he might be involved," Harris said, adding that the two were friends at one point but were not involved romantically.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.