Danville police are looking for a man seen fleeing the area of 376 Linda Mesa Ave. after a home in the area was set on fire at 8:21 p.m. Saturday night.
A second alarm was called shortly after San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District firefighters arrived on the scene, finding the residence fully engulfed and burning through to the roof of the single-story structure.
Witnesses in the area at the time reported seeing a man throw something at the residence and then flee the area in a blue Ford F150 pickup truck leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Police were reportedly following up on an identification given them by a bystander.
NEWS24-680 has learned that the home in question had been the subject of a civic abatement issue in the past and that the occupants have had contacts with local police since the abatement – focusing on some 30 vehicles and other items stored at the home – was effected.
The vehicles’ owner, Frank Howard, appealed that decision to the Town Council at the time, arguing that he could not comply with the order due to the death of his mother, a fire at his second home, and financial problems.
SRVFPD Deputy Fire Marshall David Stevens said damage to the home was estimated at $210,000. Stevens said the home was determined to be empty at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported.
The location of the residence, on a leafy side street and in close proximity to other homes in the area, forced police and firefighters to consider implementing an evacuation order for neighbors.
A search for the suspected arsonist, who reportedly has ties to Danville, is underway.