South San Francisco arsonist goes to San Quentin 

click to enlarge Paying up: Decorius Boglin was ordered to compensate an apartment complex and residents for his car arsons. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Paying up: Decorius Boglin was ordered to compensate an apartment complex and residents for his car arsons.

The bizarre 24-year-old arsonist who set a series of car fires at a South San Francisco apartment complex in 2010 — then tried to help firefighters battle them — will cool down for about a month at San Quentin State Prison, prosecutors said after he was sentenced Wednesday for the less-than-heroic acts.

Decorius Boglin pleaded no contest in February to felony arson and vandalism charges related to the nearly monthlong spate of arsons at the Archstone South San Francisco apartment complex on McLellan Drive, where Boglin’s mother lives.

On Wednesday, Boglin was sentenced to 16 months in state prison as part of a plea bargain. He also must register as an arson offender and pay back Archstone and five residents for damage he caused, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

He was scheduled Wednesday to be transferred from County Jail to the state penitentiary, Wagstaffe added, but with credit for time served and good behavior, Boglin will only have about a month left behind bars.

Boglin, who had been living with his mother at the time, set fire to cars in the complex’s parking garage and also to a large trash receptacle between Sept. 15, 2010, and Oct. 10, 2010, authorities said. After starting the blazes, Boglin attempted to help firefighters extinguish them.

But firefighters didn’t want or need his help, and investigators became suspicious of Boglin, prosecutors said. When questioned by police, he denied involvement. However, investigators had gathered circumstantial evidence, Wagstaffe said, including a lighter found in Boglin’s pocket that had been stolen from one of the damaged cars.

Boglin fled to Alabama in fall 2010 after learning he was wanted. After he left, the fires stopped, Wagstaffe said. Boglin was eventually found there and extradited back to San Mateo County.

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