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Sentinel staff report–
A fire that broke out on the exterior of an abandoned sushi restaurant on Greenback Lane last week originated in a shopping cart outside the building and has been deemed “suspicious,” according to a Metro Fire spokesman.
Fire Captain Chris Vestal told The Sentinel on Wednesday that an arson investigator determined the cause of fire to be a “shopping cart fire on exterior of building.” The incident occurred at 8036 Greenback Ln., which was formerly home to the Flaming Mountain sushi buffet. The restaurant had been closed for several months.
The initial call came in around 7 p.m. on Feb. 19, with crews finding an exterior fire near the southwest corner of the building that started to move into the attic space. No injuries were reported.
Vestal said the incident has been referred to the Citrus Heights Police Department “for any subsequent action.” Police Lt. Michael Wells said in an email Thursday that “it is unknown if the fire was intentionally set to ignite the building, or possibly transients utilizing the cart for a fire to keep warm.”
Police records show there was an increase in the number of arson fires in Citrus Heights during the 4th quarter of 2020, compared with the same period the prior year. There were six reported from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, of 2020, while none were reported in 2019.
Wells said arrests were made in three of the six arson incidents reported last quarter, and noted “they all appear independent, with different circumstances and isolated events that vary from domestic violence to fires created for warmth.”
A full crime report on 2020 is expected next month, when the City Council traditionally receives an annual crime report from the police chief each year in March.
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