The fires that ignited in dry bark at the corner of Sperry and Las Palmas avenues were not considered suspicious, but firefighters were looking into the cause, said Jeff Gregory, Patterson Fire Department division chief.
“There was nothing to gain or lose,” Gregory said Tuesday, March 25. “We believe these fires were accidents.”
The first fire, which occurred between 12:30 and 1 p.m. Friday, started in the bark landscaping on the east side of the property along Ward Avenue, between the sidewalk and the parking lot. That fire took more than an hour and a half to fully extinguish, Gregory said.
At about 3 p.m., another call was received from the same location, but this time Gregory said firefighters had it out in minutes.
A third small fire started about midnight Saturday in a landscaping area that contained bark along the southern edge of the property near Sperry Avenue. It was also out in minutes.
The firefighters are looking into the possibility that moisture might have played a role in the two daytime fires, Gregory said.
A droplet of water can sometimes act as a magnifying glass and concentrate sunlight into one place, which heats up until it combusts. Vehicles in the parking lot might also have triggered the fire with hot exhaust, he said.