Alleged arsonist arrested in San Jose in connection to multiple fires

Multiple fires erupted in San Jose on Tuesday and police said a man in his 20s was arrested and charged with suspicion of arson. This, after officers found fire-starting materials on his possession.

Three small fires burned at Watson Park near the Taylor Street over-crossing of US Highway 101, causing a traffic backup. 

"There’s three different burn patterns. None of them are interconnected with each other, which means they are set separately. There’s no wind in the air. We really can’t assume it was fire brands or just pieces of flaming material going over and starting the other fires," said Capt. Christopher Pickup of the San Jose Fire Dept.

There also was a fire Tuesday near the Berryessa BART station, marking the seventh such fire incident in the past nine days police and firefighters believe is related. 

Smoke was seen from the highway and firefighters were busy dousing the shrubbery before noon. 

Fire officials said the fire was placed under control shortly after 12:30 p.m. They said flames charred up to five acres and that crews were mopping up and re-opening closed roads. No structures were involved.

Firefighters said on Jun. 16, a three-acre grass fire started at Oakland Rd. near Highway 101. Days later, on Jun. 22, another vegetation fire burned at Alum Rock Ave. near Highway 101.

Arson Investigators are checking to see if the same unidentified suspect is responsible for the fires earlier in the month.

"There’s always danger fighting fires. We do have a freeway on one side which could distract drivers and cause traffic accidents. We also have a park on this side. The fires are kind of contained between cement. But we do have a lot of homeless encampments – unhoused encampments going through. And we worry about their safety as well," said Pickup.

Late Tuesday afternoon, fires re-erupted in areas of Watson Park that were previously burned. San Jose firefighters responded, again, with two engines to tap out the flames and saturate the already-blackened soil.

A fire broke out at Watson Park in San Jose. 


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