Sacto 9-1-1
February 1, 2012
Arson suspected in North Highlands house fire

By Robert D. Dávila
rdavila@sacbee.com

An explosion and fire that ripped through a North Highlands home early this morning were intentionally set, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

"We've confirmed it's arson," Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum said.

Crews were called at 2:45 a.m. today to a fire caused by a blast at a house in the 6500 block of Grattan Way, Cockrum said. Firefighters arrived to find flames and thick smoke coming from the house and signs of an explosion outside.

"There was glass and debris in the front yard and streaming all the way into the street," Cockrum said. "The smoke was so thick that the battalion chief couldn't even see the house from the street."

Firefighters began tearing holes in the roof to vent the smoke while searching for occupants. No one was found inside, and witnesses later reported that people who live in the house were out of town, Cockrum said.

After the fire was put out, investigators searching for a possible cause found "some sort of flammable liquid dispersed in the home," the assistant chief said. There were no signs of forced entry, he added.

Officials have no suspects, and the investigation is continuing. Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious near the house between 2 and 2:45 a.m. today is asked to call Sac Metro fire investigators at (916) 859-4300.

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