Livermore firefighters are investigating a string of suspicious fires in town and believe it may be the work of a serial arsonist. Nannette Miranda reports.
A 17-year-old boy was arrested Monday on suspicion of arson, according to police.
Livermore police said the teen is responsible for a rash of fires in Livermore that started this past weekend. He faces eight counts of arson.
The teen was arrested shortly after 2 p.m. at the scene of a grass fire in the area of Elm Street and K Street. A responding officer contacted a nearby UPS driver, who told police the teen was the only other person around during the blaze.
When police interviewed the boy, an officer noticed a lighter sticking out of his pocket, Goard said.
The teen initially denied starting the blaze, but eventually admitted to being responsible for the recent string of fires in town, Goard said.
The Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department said crews over the weekend responded to five fires in the area near Las Positas Court in the north part of town. The suspicious fires were all reported during the late-night hours, officials said.
Extreme dry conditions coupled with triple-digit temperatures have firefighters bracing for a potential large blaze.
"Fires spread a lot faster during the heat wave, particularly if there's wind like there is at night and in the evening in the Tri-Valley area," said Joe Testa, LPFD battalion chief. "So fires can spread rapidly."
Most of the fires have been near apartments or office buildings, officials said.
"It could have been a disaster if we could have gotten one ember on the roof," said Kurt Gaudy, who manages a building that was near one of the recent fires. "This whole place could have burned down. It's really scary."