Arson Investigation Underway as Four Fires Set on the Same Property in Gualala
This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
…On 01/20/2024 at approximately 2259 hours, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were summoned to the scene of a reported structure fire in the 40400 block of Old Stage Road in Gualala, CA. South Coast Fire Protection District personnel reported an outbuilding on the property that appeared to have been intentionally lit. Deputies assisted fire personnel with securing the scene while firefighters extinguished the fire. An outbuilding and a half of a double wide modular home were burned. The modular home structure was still sitting on axles from being moved onto the property. There were no subjects contacted at the location, and only one subject was believed to still be squatting on the property off and on. The property had numerous broken-down vehicles, miscellaneous trash, a large fishing/sailing vessel, and several old travel trailers and RV’s. The owner of the property had not been contacted.
…On 01/21/2024 at approximately 2035 hours, Sheriff’s Office Deputies were again summoned to another structure fire at the same property in the 40400 block of Old Stage Road in Gualala. The second fire was reported to be a travel trailer that was fully involved in fire. The travel trailer was a large fiberglass fifth-wheel style trailer that was completely burned. Again, no persons were contacted or located on or around the property. South Coast Fire Protection District personnel requested an arson investigator to investigate the scene. Sheriff’s Office personnel arrived and assisted fire personnel with traffic control until the fire was extinguished. Sheriff’s Office Deputies then provided extra patrol in the Gualala area throughout the night.
…On 01/21/2024 at approximately 2324 hours, Sheriff’s Office Deputies received another call for assistance at the same property on Old Stage Road for another report of a fire being set at the same address in the 40400 block of Old Stage Road in Gualala. The third fire was reported to be another modular-home style structure that was parked on the property near where the RV had burned. An additional RV motorhome was also completely burned during this incident. Sheriff’s Office Deputies were close by in the area and again responded to assist South Coast Fire Protection District personnel. Another call was placed to summon a fire/arson investigator to investigate the incident. There was no fire/arson investigator available to respond to the incident at that time. After the third fire was extinguished and fire personnel departed the scene, Sheriff’s Office Deputies continued patrolling the Gualala/South Coast area. There were no persons located or contacted in connection to the incident.
…On 01/22/2024 at approximately 0213 hours, Sheriff’s Office Deputies received another report of fire at the same address in the 40400 block of Old Stage Road in Gualala. The fourth fire was reported to be a large fishing/sailing vessel parked on a trailer next to the second modular home that had burned. An additional Sheriff’s Office Deputy was requested to stay at the location as fire personnel extinguished the fishing/sailing vessel and complete their mop-up of the fire. An arson/fire investigator was reached later in the morning and responded to the location to investigate. Several items of evidence were collected by an Arson Investigator with the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority which were believed to contain evidence of an accelerant.
All of these incidents are believed to be related due to the location and manner in which the fires were reported and occurring on the same property. Anyone with information that may assist investigators are urged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center by calling 707-463-4086. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency tip line at 707-234-2100.