Three East Bay fires were 'intentionally set,' firefighters say

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Firefighters put out two fires in Antioch Tuesday morning and believe they’re connected. Both are being investigated as possible arsons. A third fire, also in Contra Costa County, was also intentionally set, firefighters said.

One fire tore through an apartment building around 3:30 a.m. at G and 17 streets.  It started when a car caught  on fire in in front a garage and quickly spread. A woman who was sleeping in the unit above woke up to the smell of smoke. She first thought the smell was from all the wildfires, but then she looked out the window and called 911.

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District fire investigator Vic Massenkoff said an elderly grandmother and her grandchild were nearly trapped inside. But they were able to get out safely.

"It's a serious case of arson," Massenkoff said. Not only because the car was fully engulfed in flames, but because the fire "spread to a building with sleeping occupants." 


Then, about 20 minutes later, firefighters were called to a second scene on D and 20th streets near the middle school, which Massenkoff said was "intentionally set" and "related." 

Firefighters also responded to a brush fire along the Pittsburg-Antioch highway around 2:15 a.m., which they believe was also intentionally set.

There were no injuries reported.