Dog Dies in Fire, Man Arrested for Arson
At 1436 PM Tuesday 11-03-2015 units from Humboldt Bay Fire responded to an explosion and fire in a residence on Muncie Street in Eureka. The first arriving unit found the structure to have smoke and fire showing from the windows and roof vents. Additional units arrived and attacked the fire, searched for victims and ventilated the roof. The fire was controlled after 15 minutes and some of the units were released after an hour. No persons were located inside the structure during the search. Bystanders stated that a male subject was seen leaving the residence when the fire started. Humboldt county sheriff was notified on dispatch of the person leaving the scene and they searched the area. The person returned to the scene several hours later and was detained and arrested for suspicion of arson.Three dogs were located, two outside and one inside the residence, one of the dogs was overcome by smoke and was deceased. Two engines, one ladder truck, one squad, four chief officers and one volunteer responded for a total of 16 personnel. The fire cause and origin investigation is still ongoing.
Arcata Fire Department provided coverage for the duration of the call.
Humboldt Bay Fire asks that when fire apparatus or law enforcement vehicles respond with lights and siren that drivers yield the right of way by pulling to the right in a safe manner.
As of 1945 hours the arson investigation continues…hopefully wrapping up before 2100.
HBF and HCSO are collecting evidence and processing the scene.
On 11-03-2015 at about 4:00 p.m. a suspicious fire was investigated by Humboldt Bay Fire Department (HBF) at residence located in the1300 block of Muncie Street, Eureka. ( HBF) determined the fire to be arson. Extensive fire damage, what appeared to be extensive vandalism was done prior to arson. (HBF) then contacted the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
When deputies arrived on scene a possible suspect 23 year old Devin Lee James Schmidt returned to the fire scene intoxicated. Schmidt had injuries consistent with the vandalism and blood evidence located at the scene, Schmidt was detained by deputies. Schmidt had fresh cuts on both hands, and blood on his pants.
An inspection of the scene, revealed fresh blood in and around the residence, including on a gas can believed to have been used in the arson. During the deputies investigation a witness was located who claimed to have seen Schmidt leaving the residence as it was engulfed in flames. No persons were injured; however a family dog was perished in the fire.
Schmidt was placed under arrest by deputies for arson and violation of probation. Schmidt was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Schmidt’s bail was set at $250,000.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.