Bay City News

Investigators Seek Possible Arsonist in 5 Suspicious Fires in Antioch

Fire officials in Contra Costa County are asking for the public's help to find out who started five suspicious vegetation fires Sunday in Antioch, a fire spokeswoman said Monday.

All five fires occurred between about 5:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. in an area less than a mile long between L and Hargrove streets.

The first fire was reported at 5:38 p.m. at Parsons Lane and Lela Way, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Capt. Lisa Martinez said. The second was reported at 7:58 p.m. at Somerset Place and Plymouth Lane, just northeast of the first.

The fire burned part of a fence and a home at 1601 Somerset Place. Then it appears the possible arsonist started moving west because another fire was reported at 9:11 p.m. at Biglow Drive and Gary Avenue, near railroad tracks.

The fourth fire was further west at 56 E. Madill St. and was reported at 11 p.m. A structure on Alpha Way may have been burned in that fire, Martinez said.

The fifth and final fire was called in at 11:37 p.m. at Holly Lane at Fitzuren Road, even further west.

Shane Davis, 14, recorded cellphone video of one of the fires burning next to his Antioch home.

"I looked out on the balcony window, and I saw a huge fire," Shane said. "I told the whole family; we ran out as fast as we could. It burned down half of our fence and half of the church."

Investigators said the Lone Tree Way fire started out as a vegetation fire, spreading to a tree then to the second floor of a church, burning computers, air conditioners and chairs.

Fire Marshal Robert Marshall said investigators are trying to figure out if this fire is related to other suspicious fires in the area.

"Intuition says yes, but this isn’t like some of the other fires we’ve had where we had cameras or suspects," Marshall said. "We don’t have anything like that."

No one was injured in the fires and investigators have no leads in the case. Martinez said that the fires are suspicious because of their location and the time of day.

Fire investigators are asking anyone who has information about the fires to call the district's arson tip line at (866) 50-ARSON. Information can be left anonymously.

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