Pasadena pet groomer held in lieu of $1 million bail pending arson trial

PASADENA — A Pasadena pet groomer once named “Groomer of the Year” in an Animal Planet reality TV show remained jailed in lieu of $1 million bail Friday — his 30th birthday — on suspicion of igniting lighting an arson fire that scorched a carport and five vehicles earlier this month.
Artist Knox, who lives in an apartment adjacent to the arson fire in the 600 block of South Marengo Avenue, appeared in Pasadena Superior Court Tuesday, however he entered no plea and was ordered to return to court for an arraignment October 16, officials said.
He’s charged with six counts of arson stemming from the fire, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said. He was charged with arson for the burning of the carport itself, as well as each of the five burned vehicles.
At his hearing this week, Knox’s bail was increased from $250,000 to $1 million, according to county booking records.
He was arrested Sept. 14 following a week of investigation, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
No one was injured in the fire, which badly charred a carport, destroyed to vehicles and damaged three others, Derderian said. Officials estimated the fire caused $200,000 worth of damage.
None of the cars damaged belonged to Knox, officials added.
Knox took part in the Animal Planet TV show “Groomer Has It” in 2008, and earned the designation of “Groomer of the Year,” along with a $50,000 prize and a new grooming truck.
With his winnings, according to an online biography published by Animal Planet, Knox started a grooming business and school in Los Angeles.
But the business closed in 2009 following a fire, according to an online business listing.
Pasadena Fire Department investigators declined to release a motive or further details of the carport arson, citing the ongoing investigation.
It was unclear if authorities were investigating Knox for the the 2009 pet salon fire now that he’s been identified as a suspect in an arson case.
In his Animal Planet biography, Knox said, “I’m determined to make this business a success. Failure is not an option.”
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