HIGHLAND – Two days after the event, San Bernardino County sheriff’s investigators called Monday night’s fire at a liquor store and a nearby apartment complex the work of an arsonist.
Investigators disclosed on Wednesday that the fire that burned Jolly Boys Liquor Store to the ground along with an abandoned apartment building two blocks away are now suspected to be the work of one or more arsonists, but no suspects have yet been identified.
Jolly Boys, located at 7697 Sterling Avenue, was first reported on fire at about 6 p.m. It was so hot that firefighters could not enter the building to stop the flames, according to Cal Fire officials. County spokeswoman Cindy Bachman did not disclose who owned the business. She said, “Detectives have determined two fires, one started on the south side of the building and another on the north side, were responsible for destroying the building.” Authorities have not yet determined exactly what started the liquor store fire. They also said an unidentified person was injured and treated at the scene by paramedics, but did not say if that person was connected to the liquor store.
Firefighters from several area cities assisted in fighting the two fires. Redlands Fire Department units, on their way back to Redlands after fighting the liquor store blaze, discovered the apartment complex on fire. That fire was reportedly started at 8 p.m., causing approximately $75,000 in total damages. Investigators said they believe is that the fire was deliberately set, possibly by the same person who started the liquor store fire.
Crews from San Bernardino, both city and county, along with Loma Linda, Colton, Redlands and the nearby San Manuel Indian Casino participated in fighting the blazes.
Jolly Boys had been open for several decades, originally opening as the Red Shutters restaurant in the 1960s before closing and reopening as a liquor store.
The Sun: Highland fire that destroyed liquor store blamed on arsonist
Highland News: Busy night for Highland Fire Department