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Footage of the Covelo fire taken by Covelo Resident Jessi Alvarado

The following is a press released by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:

On July 18th, 2020, at about 8:00 am, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the 76000 block of Highway 162, Covelo, CA in response to a commercial and residential fire which occurred in that area. Multiple businesses were destroyed or damaged during the reported fire which began at about 4:00 am on the morning of July 18th, 2020. Fire authorities requested law enforcement response based on the unknown nature of the fire. MCSO Investigations Bureau detectives and Arson Investigators with Cal Fire and the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority responded to assist with the investigation.

Arson Investigators determined the fire began on the exterior of the Western Auto Inc building and was located at the rear of the property. Based on their investigation, the fire was determined to be arson. A suspect or suspects is unknown at this time.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office detectives continue to comb through surveillance footage from the area and have identified multiple persons of interest. We are asking anyone with information related to this investigation to come forward and contact us at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 463-4086 or are tip line at (707) 234-2100. Peoples wishing to remain anonymous are asked to contact the We-Tip Anonymous Crime Reporting Hotline at (800) 782-7463, giving as much detail as possible.

Additionally, anyone with surveillance equipment located along Highway 162 or downtown Covelo contact detectives for possible access to your recording system. We also ask anyone who was present just prior to or during the early stages of the fire contact detectives and potentially provide digital evidence taken at that time which will assist in identifying the person or persons involved in this incident.

Covelo fire raging on Saturday morning July 18, 2020 [Photo provided by Covelo resident Jessi Alvarado]

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Playing it By Ear: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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