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Fire On H Street Due To Squatters, Says Con Fire

Investigators say transients are probably responsible for the fire Monday night.

A fire that caused $60,000 worth of damage to an H Street home on Monday night was probably started by transients, a spokesman for Consolidated Fire said Tuesday evening. 

"We believe the fire was due to squatters," said Fire Marshall Lewis Broschard, "people who weren't supposed to be there. There was a broken window, but no power or gas service to the home. We believe they were using the fire to keep warm, or cook food, or something else."

Two men were seen leaving 403 H St. last week, and at least one neighbor believed the men were using drugs. Neighbors have complained for some time that squatters were living in the home, which was a result of a foreclosure. 

Chris Kapsalis June 13, 2012 at 06:15 AM
I asked the neighbors if they thought squatters were staying in the house and could have started the fire, they said they didn't see any activity or anyone coming or going. The weeds were all very overgrown and the house looked abandoned/neglected for some time. I'm sure there is an investigation and if people were using the house as a drug house or squatting in there I'm sure there is evidence inside of it. It is a very nice neighborhood. The neighbors did say the fire department was awesome and showed up quick and contained the fire. But no one seemed to know who's house it was or what happened. But they have a great neighborhood watch in that neighborhood so it seems strange that anyone could be in there and not be noticed by neighbors. The house right next door is well kept and very close. I think someone broke in to sleep in there , lit a fire to keep warm and the fire started and they took off. Best guess. No power.
jeni June 13, 2012 at 03:27 PM
that is so sad that squatters could have done this. this fire could of done a lot more damage. Big thanks to our fire Deaprtments!!!
Jim Caroompas (Editor) June 13, 2012 at 03:44 PM
There have been numerous police log reports of neighbors saying that squatters were living in this house, Chris. Arson investigators said that as well. Thanks for your survey of the neighborhood, but it doesn't jibe with what many others have been saying, or the conclusions drawn by those who are trained to investigate things.
Withmar June 13, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Are those vagrants still so nice and cuddly?
Jim Caroompas (Editor) June 13, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I don't recall anyone calling a vagrant "nice and cuddly," Julian.
Chris Kapsalis June 13, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I talked to two neighbors who were standing outside and both said they never noticed anyone living in there. I did not survey the neighborhood. I live near by the house and wanted to report for the Martinez Bee News. We try.
Withmar June 13, 2012 at 07:29 PM
The point is some are not reconizing the danger of welcoming people with no sense of boundries in as part of our comunity when they aren't. If it give them a warm feeling, think about about the responsiblitites of allowing these types to become so comfortable as to take residience in someone else's property and really creat a warm feeling the neighborhood. This in not the first caused this way in Martinez. It has happen in other buildings and in our parks.
Chester Lives June 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Vagrants? Vagrants are defined as someone without a job or a residence. Do you have a job as defined by the IRS? Otherwise you are halfway to being a vagrant. And Are you cuddly
Chester Lives June 15, 2012 at 12:21 AM
It is really hard to understand your post based on the numerous spelling and gramactical errors. For example, "This in not the first caused this way in Martinez." Look there are many people that are not well educated and don't have family to rely on to help them out when times are tough. So lets help them rather then run them down. Donate to the food bank or homeless shelter or donate your time or money. I am guessing that you don't have a job as defined by the IRS, and are therefore not paying federal, state or local income tax. I bet you dont own property in Martinez and are therefore not paying property taxes. So your plan is to push them off on to another community that is more compassionate? So we welcome Beavers to Martinez but not humans? Priceless. I think the people responsable for this fire should be found and brought to justice, but we are not the only city to suffer these problems.
Withmar June 15, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Fire is the word that was left out.
Withmar June 15, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Chesterlives is wrong on all parts. Many main stream people do not feel our commuity should be a haven for those that run down our town. Chester Lives? Where?
Chester Lives June 23, 2012 at 09:56 AM
Withmar please explain why I am wrong "on all parts". Please answer my questions. Do you have a job as defined by the IRS? And are you therefore paying income taxes? Do you own property in Martinez? Are you paying property taxes? Do you own a business in Martinez? It's easy to be "One with Martinez" when you don't bear any financial burden to support the community. If you don't financially support Martinez then how are you any better than the "Vagrants" that run down our town? Back to my original point, how do we help our homeless, rather than run them down? Martinez is a wonderful community and we all must contribute in a meaningful way. Withmar, how do you contribute?
Withmar June 23, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Chester lives where?
Chester Lives June 23, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Martinez of course. Are you incapable of answering my questions? Since you won't answer them then I assume I am right. Glass houses and stones.
Withmar June 23, 2012 at 11:32 PM
No explanation necessary What about, all parts, do you not understand. Are you stalking the web. Stick to the content, the damage vagrants are doing to our town. There was a bump fight at the Main street plaza during the start of the music last night. Vagrants fighting over territory, public property, at an event designed to bring people down town.

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