VACAVILLE — Police arrested a Mariani Fruit Packing Co. worker Tuesday on suspicion of arson in connection with a series of fires Oct. 9 at the packing company warehouse.
Edward Burke IV, 20, of Vacaville, is suspected of causing the fires. Burke was a temporary employee at the plant for about three months, according to Lt. John Carli, who announced the arrest in a press release.
The investigation into the fire revealed that three separate fires in the warehouse on Crocker Road in north Vacaville were not accidental, according to the release.
Carli and Vacaville Fire Chief Frank Drayton said Tuesday night that the fires caused between $5 million and $7 million in damage to both the structure and to product. Carli said as the investigation progressed, it became apparent that the fires were intentionally set.
“There were multiple fires in different areas set in one day,” Carli said, adding that mechanical failures and other “natural causes” were ruled out. The presence of accelerants also pointed to arson. ”(That) led investigators to focus on a single suspect.”
Investigators are still looking into possible motives, he said.
The fires caused the evacuation of nearly 300 employees at the facility and brought eight engines from four different fire departments as it was upgraded to two alarms.
The building’s sprinkler system did much of the work in extinguishing the fire, but the total damage was extensive.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com.mcorposdr.