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The State

June 27, 1989

A pyromaniac who torched a downtown San Jose hotel, leaving 35 people homeless, is apparently the same arsonist who has set 13 downtown fires since March, authorities say. "This is a mentally disturbed or depressed person who burns randomly," Fire Department Battalion Chief Bill Berry said. Arson investigator Rich Garcia added, "It looks like a pyromaniac because of the consistent pattern of setting the fires and the fact that they are repeated so often." The firebug has also torched houses--both occupied and vacant--parking structures and a restaurant. No serious injuries have been reported.

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