Maxwell fire ruled arson
A fire that destroyed a Maxwell residence on Feb. 11 is being investigated as an arson, said Lt. Shane Maxey of the Colusa County Sheriff's Office.
"Some sort of flammable accelerant was used (to start the fire)," Maxey said. "There is very little to go on at this point. The family doesn't know of anyone that would do this to them, or why. We will take what evidence we have and move ahead with our investigation."
The Sheriff's Office has neither a suspect nor a person of interest in the apparent arson at this point in time, Maxey said.
At about 2:30 a.m., the Maxwell Fire Protection District responded to a report of a house fire on the 100 block of Central Avenue in Maxwell. Williams Fire Protection Authority provided mutual aid to the call. Personnel for the Colusa County Sheriff's Office were on scene as well.
The homeowner, Alejandro Garcia, stood outside the house — wrapped in a blanket — with his family as firefighters contained the blaze. All of the residents — including Garcia, his wife and their four children — made it out of the building safely.
"It's a total. They need a new house. They lost everything — clothes, everything. They literally got out with just the clothes on their backs," Maxwell Fire Chief David Wells said the day of the fire.
Garcia said at the scene he believed the fire was set intentionally, in part because one of the family's vehicles had a window broken around the same time as the fire.
The Sheriff's Office's announcement indicates Garcia was correct to believe so.
"There was a brick thrown through a window ... of a vehicle in front of the house. The incidents are related. It all happened at the same time," Maxey said.
On Tuesday, Wells directed all questions to the Sheriff's Office, which he said was taking taking the lead in the investigation.
"We're still investigating. It's still pretty early. It takes a while for all the stuff to be sampled, and I don't even know where they send it," Wells said.
Maxey said the Sheriff's Office was still awaiting results for the type of accelerants used to start the fire from the arson investigation team.
"We'll see what they can get as far as what the accelerant was," Maxey said.