Fire in Arcata This Morning Suspected to Be Arson
At 6:26 this morning, Arcata Fire District personnel responded to a report of a fire at the Szechuan Garden Restaurant at 752 18th Street in Arcata. Engine 8215 out of the Arcata station arrived in less than 3 minutes and reported light smoke at the front door area. A hoseline was positioned for fire attack as firefighters prepared for additional units to arrive. According to Chief Desmond Cowan, “Firefighters aren’t allowed to enter a burning structure without a backup crew unless there’s a rescue involved. With only two firefighters on the first-in engine, we had to wait for the engine from McKinleyville Station to arrive before going inside the building.”
Additional units from Fieldbrook Fire and Blue Lake Fire were requested to assist at the fire scene and were also assigned to cover the McKinleyville and Arcata Fire Stations. One engine from Arcata and a Battalion Chief were assisting at a structure fire in Eureka at the time of the Arcata fire. Arcata Fire District responded with two engines, a ladder truck and two Chief Officers. Humboldt Bay Fire also provided a cover engine. Arcata Police and University Police assisted at the fire scene.
The fire is believed to have been intentionally set and is under investigation . A University Police Officer on patrol discovered the fire. Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to contact the Arcata Fire District.