Man Playing with Fireworks Arrested for Allegedly Causing a Major Fire
Photo: James Sossaman (Con Fire)
ANTIOCH — A man is in custody in connection with a major fire at an apartment complex. Fireworks ignited a grass fire whipped by winds that spread to two adjacent buildings.
Firefighters responded to the reported vegetation fire May 31 shortly before 5:30 p.m. It took slightly more than one hour before it was under control.
Investigators interviewed witnesses and reviewed videos recorded by surveillance cameras to identify a suspect.
The Contra Costa Fire Protection District determined the fire was caused by fireworks thrown behind the buildings. The suspect believed responsible for doing this is 45-year-old James W. Sossaman, a resident of Antioch.
Eight apartment units were rendered inhabitable at the intersection of East 18 th and Hargrove streets. Four units were destroyed by the fire and four units were severely water damaged.
Sossaman was arrested by Antioch police at 7:35 p.m. Sossaman was transported and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility.
Turns out, Sossaman was on supervised probation. His apartment was searched, and police found illegal fireworks and a loaded firearm.
The suspect remains in custody at the county jail in lieu of $130,000 bond. He was booked for unlawfully causing a fire, which displaced about 40 residents.
In addition, Sossaman faces three firearms-related charges. The weapon found in his possession and recovered by police was unregistered. Because he is a convicted felon, Sossaman is prohibited from possessing any firearm.