Area of 75 Inverness Drive, San Rafael — where one of the fires was set | Google Maps
SAN RAFAEL – According to a press release issued by the San Rafael Police Department (SRPD) on June 16th, the SRPD assisted the San Rafael Fire Department with an arson investigation after multiple fires had been set in eastern San Rafael. SRPD Officers arrested a juvenile in connection with the fires.
The juvenile was arrested for felony arson and was booked into Marin County Juvenile Hall. The juvenile’s identity will not be released due to being under age.
Four fires had been set between June 14, 2016 and June 15, 2016. On Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at approximately 5:15 PM, the San Rafael Fire Department and the San Rafael Police Department responded to calls of a brush fire that occurred in the open space between Manderly Road, Main Drive and West Castlewood Drive.
With the assistance of Marin County Fire Department and Cal Fire air and ground crews, the fire was controlled and no structures were damaged. The fire was less than 10 acres in size. Firefighters struggled against steep terrain and heavy winds but were able to completely extinguish the fire within just a few hours. Residents in the Knight Drive neighborhood had been inundated with heavy smoke at times. No one was injured or displaced.
On Wednesday, June 15, shortly after 11 AM, the San Rafael Fire Department and the San Rafael Police Department responded to calls of a brush fire in the area of 75 Inverness Drive. The fire was in close proximity to the fire that had occurred the previous day in the open space and was extinguished and no structures were damaged. Witnesses at the scene told officers of a juvenile riding a bicycle who was leaving the area as the fire began.
Later, at approximately 2:20 PM, the San Rafael Fire Department and the SRPD responded to calls of a fire behind San Pedro School. The fire was extinguished and no structures were damaged. A witness at the scene again described seeing a juvenile on a bicycle riding away from the school shortly before the fire started.
At approximately 3:15 PM, after the fire had been extinguished behind San Pedro School, San Rafael Firefighters were returning to their fire engine when they saw another small fire smoldering in dry brush across from 203 Bayview Drive. The firefighters were able to extinguish the fire.
While firefighters were handling the small fire, the suspect, who matched the description of the suspect from the two previous fires, had returned to the scene.
Firefighters detained the juvenile and the SRPD arrived to take the juvenile into custody. The arson investigation connected the juvenile to all the fires that had been set and the juvenile was arrested for felony arson.
The San Rafael Fire Department and the SRPD would like to remind the public of the dangers of starting illegal fires. A wet winter has created dense brush that is drying quickly and can become fuel for large fires. Residents should ensure they have a defensible space around their property to help reduce the threat of fires.
Anyone who witnessed the fires being set or observed anyone suspicious in the area is asked to call the SRPD at 415-485-3000. SRPD has access to translators if necessary and you may remain anonymous. You may also leave anonymous information on our website http://www.srpd.org/tips.