Authorities Turn Attention to Hunting Those Responsible for Santiago Fire

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," October 25, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, GUEST HOST: Well, at least five of these fires are said to be the result of arson now, and the hunt is on for the arsonists. Joining us now is a man helping in that effort, Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion from the Orange County Fire Authority. He is helping investigation the Santiago fire.

Chief, thanks so much for being here with us. What an effort you guys have before you. This Santiago fire is the one William La Jeunesse was just talking to us about. But do you have any leads? He said you've gotten over 250 phone calls. I know the FBI's involved, but I know you're also involved. Any leads that are promising?

BATTALION CHIEF KRIS CONCEPCION, ORANGE COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY: Good evening. What we're going to do with those 200 — over 250-plus leads is we're going to chase each and every single one of those.

KELLY: How serious is this? I mean, you hear that the FBI has put 20 agents on the case and says it is not sparing any resource to try to solve who's behind that fire. Give us a feel for just how seriously this is being taken.

CONCEPCION: Oh, this is a very, very serious crime, and we're very thankful for the help that we're getting not only from the Orange County sheriff's department but also from the ATF, as well as the FBI.

But as far as the seriousness of this, you can look around southern California, the devastation as far as the fires are concerned. The fact that someone can even think during the weather conditions that we had on Sunday that they can even think to start a fire and to cause the damage and destruction that they've done and to put the citizens at risk and lives at risk is just absolutely unconscionable.

KELLY: Chief, normally, when an arson crime is solved, it's because there was an eyewitness. Do you have any eyewitness in this case?

CONCEPCION: So far, the investigation — investigative team hasn't revealed that yet. We don't want to compromise the investigation. But you're absolutely right, the public is our force multiplier. They're out there. They're our eyes and ears, and we've very, very dependent on the public. And if it takes $250,000 to have someone call and give us a lead, then that's what we want to do because we want to catch this person or persons.

KELLY: Indeed. We hope you do. Chief, thanks so much for being here with us.

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