NORTH HIGHLANDS, CA - A man who had just celebrated his 66th birthday is charged with setting a vacant house on fire across the street.
Sacramento Metro Fire District investigators arrested Michael Lewis Nichols early Thursday morning and charged him with a single felony count of arson.
Nichols lives in the house across the street on the 4200 block of Painter Way and neighbors say there had been a birthday party there earlier in the evening.
"We called him the cat man because he has a lot of cats," said neighbor Bob Peak, who was awakened by the fire across his back fence.
No possible motive was offered.
Firefighters cut a hole in the roof of the house to extinguish the flames, but the total extent of damage was unknown.
Nichols is scheduled to be arraigned on the arson charge Friday afternoon.
He's being held on $50,000 bail.
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net