The Livermore Police Department Wednesday initiated an investigation into an arson that occurred Saturday at Granada High School. Chris Van Shaack, the principal at Granada, said the school custodian discovered a burned plastic trash can on the school campus on Monday morning. The fire extinguished itself and there were no resulting injuries or structural damages to the school. Ordinarily such an incident wouldn’t be an outside police matter, Van Shaack said. “Things happen on campuses over the weekend on a fairly regular basis,” he said. But police Lt. Matt Sarsfield said there’s evidence suggesting the suspects may have purposefully placed the trash can over an underground gas main before starting the fire. Police say the fire could have caused significant damage had it compromised the gas main. The school’s motion-censor surveillance cameras activated at 12:53 a.m. Saturday and captured what appeared to be five unidentified suspects between the ages of 14 and 18 standing next to a trash can, police said. At 1:11 a.m., footage shows that all five suspects fled the area on foot just before a two-foot flame shot out from the side of the can. Sarsfield said police believe suspects placed an accelerant in the trash can before fleeing.
Van Shaack said that he had never received any threats and has little reason to believe that the suspects had malicious intent in setting the fire. The case is still under investigation. Police encourage anyone with information about the arson to contact Sarsfield at (925) 371-4730.
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