FAIRFIELD — The temporary employee at Mariani Fruit Packing Company accused of started fires that caused more than $5 million damage at the facility made his first court appearance Thursday since his arrest earlier this week.
Edward Burke IV, 20, of Vacaville, pleaded not guilty to a pair of felony arson charges. At the request of prosecutors, Judge Robert S. Bowers increased his bail to get out of jail from $108,000 to $250,000.
Burke was ordered to return to court Nov. 1 for a probable cause hearing.
Burke worked at the facility for about three months before the Oct. 9 two-alarm fire that forced 300 employees from their jobs for the day. There were three separate fires in one warehouse at the Crocker Road facility, with the largest fire limited to a pile of wood pallets and cardboard. Smoke and water from the building’s sprinkler system caused most of the damage, according to authorities.
Vacaville police arrested Burke on Tuesday, after the investigation into the cause of the fires found accelerants had helped fueled the flames.
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