A business owner who suffered burns to more than 80 percent of his body in an early-morning fire at a La Crescenta mini-mall last year was taken into custody last Friday night on suspicion of starting the fire that caused at least $2 million in damage to the building and its contents.
United States Customs and Border Patrol agents detained Tony Yarijanian, 37, of Glendale, at Los Angeles International Airport April 22 at about 7 p.m. Customs agents stopped the Glendale man as he was going through customs after a business trip abroad. They contacted Los Angeles police, who brought Yarijanian to the Glendale Police Station.
Yarijanian faces three felony charges of arson to a structure or forestland, arson to property and presenting a false or fraudulent insurance claim. The first charge stems from the fire that broke out at about 6:30 a.m. Feb. 15, 2004, at the mini-mall at 4121 Pennsylvania Ave. It destroyed three businesses, including Safari Tan, which Yarijanian had opened less than a year before.