Investigators seeking suspects in several fires | October 2, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - October 2, 2009

Investigators seeking suspects in several fires

Fires were set along Iron Horse Trail and nearby neighborhoods in San Ramon

by Geoff Gillette

Fire crews were kept busy in the late night hours last weekend, as unknown persons set a number of fires in San Ramon.

Firefighters responded to multiple calls of fires that had been intentionally set between 11 p.m. Saturday evening and 1:20 a.m. Sunday morning, said San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District spokeswoman Kim French.

"The fires do appear to be related," French said. "Fire crews responded to two vehicle fires, five outside fires and one structure fire all in that couple of hours."

All of the fires occurred in San Ramon and were within a few blocks of the Iron Horse Trail, where the five outside fires were ignited. Those five fires were reported between Montevideo Drive and Pine Valley Road.

The two vehicle fires were reported on Greenwich Drive and Kimball Avenue. Firefighters were able to get them under control a short time after arrival.

The lone structure fire required a second alarm to be pulled. French said the fire was called in after residents at the home at 77 Elmwood Drive were awoken by their smoke alarm. Initial belief is that a hay bale decoration on the home's front porch was set on fire, which spread to the home and up into the attic.

A total of six engines, one paramedic ambulance and one breathing unit were dispatched. Three chief officers, two safety officers and two investigators were also sent to the scene.

Firefighters did a major salvage and overhaul of the attic to ensure the fire was completely out. The total damage amount from all of the fire incidents has been set at $250,000.

Fire Investigator Natalie Kurtz said the initial determination was that the fires were arson and they are looking for suspects.

"We will work alongside the San Ramon Police Department to investigate what looks to be multiple arson sets within this two-hour period," Kurtz stated.

Information on how the fires were set has not been released pending the completion of the investigation.

Anyone with information on the suspicious fires is urged to contact either the Fire District at 838-6600 or the San Ramon Police Department at 973-2700.