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Investigators Deem Blaze at Fire Station Arson

Someone intentionally set a one-alarm fire on Thursday night that  badly damaged a former fire station in Antioch that has been repeatedly targeted by thieves and vandals, a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District inspector said today.

Evidence found at the old station at 4527 Deerfield Road indicated arson, fire inspector George Laing said. He said the former station, which is now owned by the city of Antioch and consists of a portable building and garage, has been the site of multiple thefts, acts of vandalism and trespassing in recent months. Investigators do not know whether anyone had occupied the former station leading up to the fire on Thursday night.

The fire was reported at 8:20 p.m. Crews arrived about 15 minutes  later and found flames coming from the portable building, according to fire officials. Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading beyond the mobile building and knocked the fire down by 8:50 p.m. No injuries were reported.
The fire caused roughly $10,000 in damage, according to Laing. The inspector said neighbors in the area reported that there may  have been people squatting in the former fire station. He said the arson serves as a reminder of the need for community  members to report suspicious activity to police.

Antioch police and Contra Costa County fire officials are  continuing to investigate the arson but have not identified any suspects,  Laing said.

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