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.
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