152. Police Arrest Fire-Starters

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Police arrested five young men for setting the Canyon fire that recently destroyed 53 homes, resulted the temporary evacuation of 12,000 people, and burned ,000 acres of woodland. The fire began in a public park that prohibited alcohol and fires. The , with seven friends, were drinking beer and wine; campfire helped keep them warm that chilly, windy . They were roasting hotdogs and marshmallows on the .
Firemen and deputy sheriffs searched the park afterward, found some food, food packages, empty bottles and , and even a few receipts. The deputy sheriffs to Ralphs, the local supermarket that the receipts from. The assistant manager was there the night food and booze were sold.
“Oh, yes, I them very well,” he said. The men were customers, who showed up at least once a on Friday or Saturday night. They usually bought , food, and alcohol, often with a credit card. wondered if they might be using the firewood a prohibited area, but he never said anything it. “They seemed like intelligent people,” he told deputy sheriff.
At a televised news conference, County Lee Baca announced the arrests. However, at least homeowner was still bitter. “That’s good detective work, so what?” asked Martha Knapp. “These arrests aren’t to rebuild our homes or diminish our misery. guys are young—half of their income for the of their lives should go toward paying for losses. But that will never happen. I wish had all been in my home when it down. I would have enjoyed kicking their dead .”