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Arson suspected in two Pasadena fires

December 4, 2011 |  2:47 pm

Arson is suspected in two fires that ignited moments apart at a house and in vegetation along the westbound 210 Freeway in Pasadena, a spokeswoman said Sunday.

The two-story house at 384 N. Oakland Ave. sustained significant damage Saturday afternoon and is likely to be a total loss, with $700,000 damage to the structure and $100,000 to its contents, said Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.

Preliminary investigation pointed to arson as the cause of the fire because a second suspicious blaze occurred across the street along the freeway right-of-way shortly after the house fire started, Derderian said.

Three adults were home at the time the fire was reported at 2:15 p.m. Saturday and all escaped safely, Derderian said. Thirty residents of a apartment building next door were evacuated briefly as a precaution, she said, and one unit of the complex sustained water damage.

Firefighters were able to contain the house fire in about 20 minutes, but the freeway vegetation fire flared on and off for much of the afternoon, Derderian said.

A firefighter fell and injured his wrist while working to put out the house fire and was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital for treatment, Derderian said.

The heavy smoke from the right-of-way fire snarled traffic along the 210 near the Fair Oaks Avenue exit, she said.

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-- Carol J. Williams

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