fire and body

The remains of an outbuilding at Mercier Grapevines nursery still smolder seven hours after firefighters knocked down the early morning blaze and discovered a unidentified body in the fire area. The case is now under investigation by Solano County Sheriff's Department arson and homicide investigators. (Ian Thompson/Daily Republic)


Crews find body in debris of Vacaville nursery fire

By From page A1 | July 10, 2014

VACAVILLE — A fire scene turned quickly into a crime scene early Wednesday after firefighters putting out a structure fire in rural Vacaville found a body in the debris.

The fire at the Mercier Grapevines nursery at 6760 Pleasants Valley Road was called in a little after 3 a.m. Firefighters from the Vacaville Fire Department, Vacaville Fire Protection District, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and California Medical Facility Fire Department responded, Deputy Daryl Snedeker of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office said.

The call most probably came in via cellphone from either a passer-by or a neighbor who had spotted the structure behind Mercier Grapevines’ main building burning, Snedeker said. The building, which was described as a tractor shed, stacks of plastic bins and several pallets, were burning when firefighters arrived.

“After the firefighters got the fire under control was when they discovered the body,” Snedeker said.

The body was found in a structure at the nursery. Firefighters called in arson and fire investigators, along with homicide investigators from the Sheriff’s Office who worked throughout the day to determine how the fire was caused and how the victim died.

No name, age, or gender for the victim was released Wednesday by the Sheriff’s Office. Employees were being questioned by investigators.

Mercier Grapes, part of the French company Mercier Groupe, was established on Pleasants Valley Road in 2006 and exports grapevines to places such as Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica, according to its website.

Anyone with any information about the fire is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Bureau at 784-7050.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.

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