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Two Arson Suspects Arrested For Setting Car Fires In Antioch, Martinez Last Week

Photo: File

CONCORD, CALIF., AUG. 24, 2020 – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) announced today the arrests of two arson suspects in unrelated vehicle fires that occurred in Antioch and Martinez late last week.

Working with law enforcement partners in Antioch and Martinez, investigators from Con Fire’s Fire Investigation Unit (FIU) investigated and quickly arrested the alleged perpetrators of three intentionally set vehicle fires. The first fire and ensuing arrest occurred in Antioch Thursday morning and the second took place later in the early evening hours in Martinez.

“Quick work of our fire investigators in close partnership with local law enforcement agencies has resulted in the removal of two dangerous arsonists from our streets,” said Fire Chief Lewis T. Broschard III, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “This is a tremendous example of
the importance to community safety of the coordination and partnerships between fire and law enforcement.”

St. Onge

On Aug. 20 at approximately 10 a.m., an FIU investigator responded to a vehicle fire on Auto Center Drive in Antioch. Examining the fire scene and surveillance video, the fire was determined to be intentionally set. Soon thereafter, Antioch Police found the suspect vehicle in Antioch, detaining four subjects. After interviewing the subjects, Lisa St. Onge, 39, was arrested for arson, with Con Fire’s investigator making the arrest and Antioch Police transporting her to the County Detention Facility in Martinez. Onge was charged with one count of Arson to Property (PC 451 (d)).

Milan Popich

Later that day, at approximately 6:30 p.m., an FIU investigator again responded to a report of vehicle fires on the shoulder of westbound Highway 4 in Martinez. On scene, California Highway Patrol officers had detained a male subject from one of the two vehicles burned. After
investigation of both vehicles, the fires were determined to have been purposefully set. The detained subject, Milan Popich, 39, was arrested for arson by the FIU investigator. CHP transported Popich to the Martinez Detention Facility for booking. Popich was charged with two
counts of Arson to Property (PC451 (d)).

Both suspects have been booked into the Contra Costa County Detention Facility in Martinez where they remain in custody. Both cases will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for a decision early next week.


  1. What percentage of the fires we’re seeing these days have been set by the homeless or started in homeless encampments/? Stats?

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