Suspected arson fire causes $80,000
damage to California sheriff's substation
[Sacramento County, CA]

Bee Metro Staff
December 26, 2000, Tuesday Metro Final Edition
Copyright 2000 McClatchy Newspapers, Inc.
Sacramento Bee
December 26, 2000, Tuesday Metro Final Edition

(SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif.) -- Authorities are investigating a fire early Monday at a Sacramento County sheriff's substation in a four-plex near Fruitridge Community Park.

City Fire Capt. Dan Braziel said eight people living in three residences at the structure were forced from their homes Christmas Day, although firefighters managed to limit most of the $80,000 in damage to the substation.

Investigators suspect arson as the cause.

The fire began shortly before 2:40 a.m. at 4140 Gaddi Drive, off Fruitridge Road and 42nd Street. Braziel said it apparently was started after someone broke a window, throwing a flammable substance into the substation.

"It appears to be deliberately set," Braziel said. "Nobody had been in there that afternoon."

He said crews were able to extinguish the fire with little damage to the neighboring residences. But power and gas lines had to be shut off, forcing the tenants out and to spend Christmas Day with relatives.

Erik Olson, owner of the two-story building, said the incident is the second attack on the substation. Previously it was targeted by brick-throwing vandals, he said.

He said Russian immigrant families live in the adjoining residences. Also damaged was a classroom where English as a second language is taught.

The Sheriff's Department uses the office for writing reports.

Officials said 38 fire department workers fought the fire. Reserved.

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