STOCKTON (CBS13) — A burglar sets a Stockton couple’s home on fire and their neighbors race to rescue it with garden hoses.

Robert and Jeanette Louda are eager to make the rental house on Santa Clara Street their home again, even though it’s been burglarized twice and an arson on Friday morning has them currently living in a hotel.

“All of our friends and family think we’re crazy, ‘Why are you guys coming back? It’s not safe. It’s bad karma,” said Robert Louda. “I think all the bad karma has been burned out of the house.”

Robert and Jeanette were both at work when a neighbor’s surveillance video captured a person walking up to their home around 11 a.m. Friday. The Loudas believe this person broke the window, entered their home, stole jewelry and set the front bedroom on fire.

The surveillance video also caught the Loudas’s neighbors coming to fight the fire.

“When I heard the sirens, I came out here and two of the neighbors were already here,” said neighbor Allen Brose. “They had the hose here. We did a pretty good job of beating the fire down before the fire department got here.”

“Our neighbor across the street is an ex-fireman and was the first one to grab our hose and start putting it out,” said Robert Louda. “Then our other neighbor grabbed his hose and everyone was running around until the fire department got here. It was contained to one room, because of them. They’re our heroes.”

The Loudas’s landlord will need to rebuild the house, but the Loudas said they can wait. Stockton Police said the burglary arson is under investigation, but detectives are not ready to release a suspect description at this time. There haven’t been any other arson cases in the North Stockton area.


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