East Bay News

Fire at home under construction determined arson

Friday, September 23, 2011
Concord house fire

A fire in Concord that caused about $385,000 of damage to a house under construction and two nearby homes earlier this month has been determined arson, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District officials said Thursday.

The fire at the two-story partially built house at 5217 Skyler Court was reported at 4:43 p.m. on Sept. 5. The fire burned the entire house to the ground and significantly damaged two nearby homes on Marvue Circle, fire officials said.

The destroyed home is owned by Discovery Builders and was about 3,500 square feet.

The fire spread to the surrounding area because of high temperatures and radiant heat produced by the wood-framed home. The fire was also exacerbated by the construction at the home, fire officials said.

After a fire investigation that included an accelerant detection K-9 unit, investigators determined the cause of the fire as arson. Evidence and witness statements indicate that the rapid spread of fire was inconsistent with an accidental, naturally progressing fire, officials said.

Fire officials said all reasonable accidental causes were ruled out.

Specifics about the arson will not yet be released, fire district officials said, due to the complex nature of the investigation.

Although the fire is part of an active investigation, fire officials said they still need help from the public to identify the arson suspects. Officials encourage anyone who knows what happened, saw something suspicious or noticed unfamiliar people in the area that day, or have heard anything about the cause of the fire to call the District Fire Investigation Unit at (925) 942-9140 or the arson tip line at (866) 502-7766.

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concord, fire, arson, east bay news
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