Suspected Arsonist in Custody for Fire at Albany Hill Park

Suspected Arsonist in Custody for Fire at Albany Hill Park

A suspected arsonist faces felony arson charges, following her arrest near fires at Albany Hill Park. Megan N. Strahl, 31 of Berkeley, remains in custody in lieu of $115,000 bond, pending a plea hearing on July 12.

Two separate fires occurred last month in parkland surrounded by a densely populated residential area. The fires resulted in evacuations of nearby homes and street closures in the area adjacent to Interstate 80.

Fires occurred near Washington and Cleveland avenues, and the west side of the park near the freeway. Four fire agencies from neighboring communities helped the Albany Fire Department extinguish the blazes.

A security guard reported seeing the suspect starting one of the fires at Albany Hill Park. Witnesses also reported seeing the same suspect attempting to start another fire at nearby Peggy Thomsen Pierce Street Park.

Albany police arrested Strahl on June 26 at 4:22 p.m., while fires at Albany Hill Park were still burning. She was located one block away from the much smaller park on Pierce Street.

Strahl was apprehended on the 600 block of Pierce Street. At the time of arrest, she was found in possession of a small butane torch.

The suspect who has prior convictions was later transported to Alameda County, where she was booked into Santa Rita Jail.
No injuries or damage to structures were reported. Nevertheless, Strahl faces felony arson charges for – Arson of a structure or forest PC 451(c) Recklessly causing a fire of structure or forest PC 452(c).

In addition, she also faces charges related to prior convictions.

Suspected Arsonist in Custody for Fire at Albany Hill Park was last modified: July 7th, 2022 by admin
Categories: Contra Costa

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Jim Emerson

Jim Emerson is a northern California writer covering crime and arrest related news in the Bay Area - focusing primarily on Alameda, Contra Costa, and Marin counties.