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18-Vehicle Blaze in Carport Was Arson, Officials Say

September 30, 1998|JOHN CANALIS

Fire investigators blame arson for a Sept. 15 carport fire that scorched 18 vehicles and caused $200,000 in damage at the Grand Resort apartments on Broadway.

Firefighters initially suspected an accident caused the blaze, because it started in a storage area. But officials said witness reports and other clues point to arson.

"Fires are accidents until we determine otherwise," Anaheim Fire Investigator Mike Doty said. "You can't determine a fire was intentionally set until you have evidence. In this case, it took a while."

Doty said witnesses reported seeing a man in the dark, age 15 to 30, at the scene of the fire. He declined to elaborate on the description.

Six days after the blaze, someone started another car fire in an apartment complex across the alley from the Grand Resort. In that case, a new Jeep Wrangler went up in flames, but the arsonist was not spotted.

The car's owner extinguished the fire and saved the Jeep.

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