Arson Suspect Arrested For Allegedly Igniting Harmful Hopkins Hearth


CALPELLA (CBS SF) — A 20-year-old Ukiah man was in custody Wednesday after his arrest for igniting the Hopkins Hearth, which destroyed a number of properties within the Black Oak Estates neighborhood of the unincorporated Mendocino County group of Calpella over the weekend.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Captain Greg Van Patten stated Devin Lamar Johnson was arrested Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of arson and has been booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

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He stated arson investigators had been capable of get hold of surveillance footage from a enterprise close to the place the blaze started at 2 p.m. Sunday and it led to them figuring out Johnson as a suspect.

“This footage recognized an unidentified grownup male as being the particular person, the explanation, the trigger, of the Hopkins Hearth,” Van Patten stated. “The hearth investigators canvased the realm for additional clues and proof. They reached out to detectives with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Division… It was 10:50 a.m. this morning (Tuesday) that one of many fireplace investigators noticed the person (on the video) in downtown Calpella.”

After being detained and questioned, Johnson was taken into custody and booked on three separate arson costs. Van Patten stated Johnson was probation for a theft cost and was being held on a no bail standing.

Cal Hearth Mendocino Unit Chief George Gonzalez stated as of Tuesday night the fireplace was 60% contained and remained at 275 acres. Dozens of native residents nonetheless stay below evacuation orders.

“We aren’t out of the woods fully though we now have excessive containment,” Gonzalez stated. “There are nonetheless many risks on the market akin to fallen timber, sizzling spots, hazardous smoke and harmful energy poles.”

The hearth ignited round 2:15 p.m. within the tinder-dry vegetation within the space of Moore Avenue and Eastside Calpella Street. It shortly raced uphill, burning properties within the Black Oak Estates and alongside Marina Drive because it made it solution to the northwest shore of close by Lake Mendocino.

Dozens of firefighters raced to the scene and helicopters made air drops. Van Patten stated deputies additionally pounded on doorways to ensure native residents had been alerted and received out safely.

“This was a quickly evolving fireplace,” he stated. “We went door to door. In some instances really getting into homes to ensure individuals weren’t in as a result of quickly after these properties had been destroyed by the fireplace.”

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Whereas officers had been nonetheless assessing the injury, they stated a number of buildings had burned together with properties.

“We’ve misplaced lots of properties,” stated Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall.

Kent Porter, a photographer with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, recorded a number of buildings engulfed in flames alongside Marina Drive.





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