Update: Police Confirm Identity of Suspect Arrested in Connection with Arson Fire

Firefighters from the Benicia Fire Department will work with the police department to piece together the sequence of events. Police have now officially identified the suspect.

Update: October 24, 2012

In a release sent late Tuesday evening the Benicia Police Department confirmed that the man arrested in connection with a suspicous fire at 103 Sunset Circle is 46-year-old Cecil Fort.

The release said Fort became upcooperative and combative with officers while going through the booking procedure at the police station and was later transferred to Sutter Solano Hospital after complaining of chest pains.

After receiving medical clearance, Fort will be transferred to Solano County jail where his bail will be set at $500,000.

Fort was booked for alleged arson, alleged battery on a police officer, alleged residential burglary and an allegation that he made threats to individuals.

October 23, 2012:

 It’s rare to see more police at a fire scene than firefighters, but that was the case at 103 Sunset Circle in Benicia on Tuesday, October 23 where a suspected arson fire was quickly controlled by firefighters from the Benicia Fire Department and a suspect was detained by the Benicia Police Department.

The fire was first reported at 4:06 p.m. and the first unit on the scene arrived at 4:10 p.m. according to Benicia Fire Chief Steve Vicurevich.  Firefighters considered the fire under control at about 4:20 p.m.  

Uniformed officers and members of the plain clothes detective unit from the Benicia Police Department were on the scene as well.  An emergency responder was heard on the scanner saying a plastic lighter fluid container was found near the point of origin of the fire.  Police and fire officials at the scene wouldn’t confirm or deny that an accelerant was found or why they considered the fire suspicious.

The three story units have double garages in the lower level, kitchen and living room in the middle level and bedrooms in the upper level.  According to Chief Vicurevich the fire started on the idle level.

After speaking to relatives of the apartment’s residents, police focused their attention on one man who they arrested after talking to him for about 15 minutes.

“There’s probable cause to believe he may be responsible for the fire,” said Lt. Scott Przekurat of the Benicia Police Department.  “I think there is some kind of relationship between the suspect and the apartment.  He may have lived here at one point.”

Przekurat said the suspect was arrested on Monday, October 22 at the residence where the fire was reported.  The man was out on bail when he was arrested in connection with the fire.

The Daily Activity Report from the Benicia Pollice Department indicates that 46-year-old Cecil Fort was arrested Monday, October 22 on Sunset Circle for alleged domestic battery and false imprisonment.  

While police questioned the man at the scene they asked him for his shoes.  Przekurat said the police would attempt to analyze the suspects clothes to see if they contain any evidence that ties him to the fire.

Fire investigators have not released a damage estimate.  The building where the fire occurred has three units.  The fire didn’t spread to or damage either of the other two units.

Patch will update this story as more details become available.


Do you subscribe to the Benicia Patch newsletter? It brings our latest stories, blogs, announcements and the day's calendar events to your in-box early each morning. Follow Benicia Patch on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you have opinions, experiences and views to share? Consider becoming a Benicia Patch blogger!

If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

Riley Willerson October 24, 2012 at 01:34 PM
That did cross my mind JB, just was wondering if there was another piece to this crime story. And, thanks for your coverage of the community.
Brian October 24, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I live on Sunset also. I walked right by this house on my way to Raleys about 10 minutes before the firetrucks started coming. I smelled the smoke lightly but just thought someone was about to grill something. My father-in-law was walking with me and he commented it smelled like electrical burning.
Joe Feltcher October 24, 2012 at 08:01 PM
JB- Thanks for being there and getting us the information. I am constantly impressed with your reporting and getting out there. Meanwhile, The Herald probably has some article by that d-bag dating coach as their "top story". I've actually stopped going there. Thanks again -Joseph P. Feltcher
Riley Willerson October 24, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Good one Joe,,,made me laugh, good humor, but watch out The black panther poet may jump on it as being a racist comment. Goes to show that we can say somethings about ones race and no one scrambles to their feet to shout out "racist!" now substitute Damn....Black, yellow, Red, Brown" and all hell breaks out.
Natalie Mortensen October 25, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Yes, I was talking about seeing the reporter! This is scary for the residents regardless of race. If this fire had spread many could have lost their homes maybe even their lives. These condos are very close together with many attached directly to each other. Good Job Bencia FD for getting quickly under control!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »