ANTIOCH -- A cluster of "four to five" fires in less than 12 hours and a half-mile apart Thursday and Friday were caused by arson, an investigator said Friday.
The fires likely were lit by transients in the area, though no one has been arrested, said Contra Costa Fire Protection District investigator Vic Massenkoff. Nobody was injured in any of the fires.
The last of them was set about 8:10 a.m. Friday, Massenkoff said, and damaged the outside of two residences in the 200 block of William Reed Drive.
"In one of the cases, the residents were awake and able to exit," Massenkoff said. "In the other case, the residents were asleep but were awakened by the sirens."
The first of the fires was reported
Sixty-seven minutes later, at 10:39 p.m., somebody set a fire to cardboard and pallets in front of a 99-cent store near L Street and Sycamore Drive. The fire spread to the building, which was damaged on the outside, Massenkoff said. A brush fire was also lit near the back fence and a Quik Stop in the same strip mall, Massenkoff said.
Those fires were under control about 11:08 p.m., a dispatcher said.
Many transients frequent the area, so steps will be taken to remove the homeless encampments, Massenkoff said. The investigation remains