Zachary Hodges faces two felony arson counts

A suspect has been arrested in connection with a fire early Thursday that destroyed a vacant house and damaged an occupied house next door.

Kern County Fire Department arson investigators arrested Zachary Bradley Hodges, 23, Friday morning, a KCFD source told the Taft Midway Driller on Sunday.

Hodges faces two felony counts of arson, including arson of an inhabited structure.

Investigators said the fire was linked to "squatter activity."

Hodges is accused of starting the fire in a vacant house on the 300 block of Naylor Avenue about 7 a.m.

Kern County Sheriff's deputies and Taft Police were responding to a report of vandalism at the building and found it on fire when they arrived.
Firefighters were called, but the fire had engulfed the old wooden house and was spreading to an adjacent house by the time they arrived.

The occupied house sustained damaged to one side and to the roof .

The resident had no homeowners insurance, the KCFD said.

Hodges is being held on $125,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, according to the Kern County jail website.