East Bay Cigarette Store Up in Smoke

Thursday, Jan 22, 2009  |  Updated 12:01 PM PDT
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East Bay Cigarette Store Up in Smoke

Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Pleasant Hill police are investigating an explosion that caused a fire in a Cigarette Outlet Store Thursday morning, according to the Police Department.

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Investigators with the Pleasant Hill Police Department believe someone intentionally set off an explosion that ignited a fire that blew through a Cigarette Outlet store in the city early this morning .

Officers patrolling in the area stopped near the outlet store at 1873 Contra Costa Blvd. at around 5 a.m., just moments before an explosion inside broke windows and ignited a one-alarm fire, police Lt. Jose Delatorre said.

Police believe the blast and fire, which was controlled by Contra Costa Fire Protection District crews at around 5:15 a.m., were deliberately set based on past incidents at the same store.

"There have been a couple proven arson attempts at the same location," Delatorre said, who added that no suspects have been identified or arrests made in prior cases.

The exact cause of the explosion is still being investigated.

"It wasn't an explosive device like a bomb, but something inside the store ignited a fire," Delatorre said

No one was injured in the explosion.

Anyone with information is asked to call Pleasant Hill police at  (925) 288-4630.

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