A La Quinta man has been sentenced to six years in state prison after pleading no contest to two counts of arson for setting fire to a home under construction on The Strand in Hermosa Beach in June, authorities said.
Keith Yessner, 50, entered the plea to arson of a structure and arson of property in Torrance Superior Court on Aug. 21, and he was immediately sentenced, said Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Yessner was arrested about 20 hours after he set fire in June to the home in the 800 block of The Strand. The large fire also damaged four neighboring residential buildings and displaced six people, authorities said.
The home at the center of the fire had been under construction for nearly a year before it went up in flames.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the blaze.
Firefighters from various agencies put out the fire in about an hour. Police originally arrested a 27-year-old man after he was spotted in the area of the fire walking away and then gave suspicious answers to authorities, police said.
However, after obtaining surveillance video from nearby residential buildings, police recognized Yessner from at least one previous contact and released the original suspect.
Officers searched throughout the city and located Yessner in the 1600 block of Beach Drive and arrested him without incident.
Why he set fire to the structure was not known.