General Crime

Two Arrested in String of Arson Fires in Alameda

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Two people suspected of setting a series of fires throughout Alameda overnight have been arrested, public safety officials said this morning. Police have not yet released the names of the two suspects but said that one is a transient and the other is an Alameda resident. The pair was arrested in connection with the eight fires set in different locations during a roughly three-hour period early this morning. An investigation into the arsons is underway. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us but now that the sun is up we’ll be visiting each and every location,” Alameda police Lt. Jill Ottaviano said at a news conference at one of the city’s fire stations this morning.

The fires damaged or destroyed five businesses on Park Street and displaced multiple residents from their homes, according to Alameda Fire Chief Michael D’Orazi. Firefighters responded at 12:56 a.m. to the 1300 block of Regent Street to a dumpster fire. At 1:11 a.m., firefighters responded to the 500 block of Willow Street to a report of a smell of smoke. Firefighters were unable to locate the source of the smell. At 1:39 a.m., firefighters responded to the 1100 block of Regent Street to a house fire. Firefighters knocked down the blaze at 2:02 a.m. The fire caused damage to the rear of the house, including one room and the attic, according to fire officials. Fire crews were dispatched again at 2:22 a.m. to the 2200 block of San Antonio Avenue to a residential and vehicle fire that spread to a neighboring home.

That fire heavily damaged one home and caused minor damage to a neighboring residence. Firefighters extinguished the blaze at 3:14 a.m. Firefighters responded to a vehicle fire at 2:34 a.m. Firefighters said that fire was possibly an extension from the San Antonio Avenue fire. At 3:29 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to the 200 block of Encinal Avenue to a garbage can fire. About 40 minutes later, firefighters responded to a three-alarm fire in the 1600 block of Park Street. Firefighters said this fire involved five businesses and multiple vehicles. D’Orazi said that fire caused heavy damage to the businesses, which he did not name. A damage estimate was not yet available, he said. Berkeley and Oakland fire crews assisted in battling the fire. Crews responded to an eighth arson fire at 4:39 a.m. in a garbage container in the 1500 block of Park Street.

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