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Oroville firefighters investigate arson in large early morning fire

Published On: Jul 07 2013 04:13:43 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 07 2013 04:28:33 PM CDT
Oroville arson pic 2

Courtesy: John Loewe/Oroville Mirror

OROVILLE, Calif. -

Investigators in Oroville are looking for someone who apparently poured flammable liquid down half a city block and tried to light the area on fire.

The fire broke out along Roseben Avenue in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 7.  The blaze threatened dozens of Southside homes.

Several 9-1-1 calls came in at 2:19 a.m. advising of a structure fire on Roseben Avenue. Engines from the Oroville and El Medio Fire Departments quickly responded, discovering two neighborhood buildings engulfed in flames.

Several residents reported hearing "popping" noises.  They assumed at first that leftover fireworks were being lit. But when flames began reaching more than fifteen feet into the air, briefly catching overhead power lines on fire, much of the neighborhood began pouring out onto the street witness the inferno.

One structure was almost entirely destroyed by the fire prior to firefighter's arrival. A second, larger structure required extensive cutting with chainsaws and axes to reach the still-burning interior flames.