From Con Fire:
CONCORD, CALIF., Jan. 25, 2022 – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) today announced its fire investigators, working with Clayton, Concord and Pittsburg police, made arrests over the weekend in two separate intentionally set fires in Pittsburg and Clayton.
On Saturday, Jan. 22, Con Fire and Pittsburg Police were dispatched to the 3700 block of Railroad
Avenue, Pittsburg, where a person was reportedly opening fire hydrants. On arrival, an individual later identified as Dennis Wolfenbarger informed first responders he had set a fire in an unoccupied nearby business. Firefighters were able to remove a small metal container with burning material inside before damage to the structure occurred.
Wolfenbarger, 42, an Oakley resident, was arrested by Pittsburg Police for Arson to Property CPC § 451(d)) and Tampering with a Utility (PC § 498(a)(6)) and transported to Martinez Detention Facility.
On Friday, Jan. 21, Con Fire firefighters responded to an exterior structure fire at 1500 Kirker Pass Road in the city of Clayton. The fire was a large debris fire at the rear door of a business, which damaged the exterior and extended into the interior of the structure.
Video surveillance obtained by investigators showed an adult white male, wearing a black jacket, black pants, and a red t-shirt in the area at the time of the incident. The subject, later identified as Kevin Cooper, was seen constructing a fire, placing cardboard and wood on it to make it larger.
Cooper was also seen in the video immediately leaving the area as the fire burned.
Cooper was later stopped by Concord Police, wearing the same clothing in the surveillance video.
When interviewed by fire investigators, Cooper, 57, admitted being in the area at the time of the fire. A resident of Concord, Cooper was arrested by Con Fire investigators on Jan. 21, charged with Arson to an Inhabited Structure (PC § 451(b)). Clayton Police transported Cooper to the Martinez Detention Facility after he was interviewed by fire investigators.
Con Fire’s Fire Investigation Unit asks residents to help them fight the crime of arson by calling the Arson Tip Line at 1-866-50-ARSON. They caution residents not to hesitate on information that seems too little or unimportant, adding some of the most valuable tips come from residents who were not aware what they saw was very important to the investigation of an incident. Residents can leave a recorded message on the tip line about fire-related criminal activity in English or Spanish.
Tips can be anonymous, and all tips are treated confidentially. But investigators sometimes need additional information, so contact information is encouraged.