At approximately 10:10 a.m., Hopland Fire responded to 15201 Highway 101 regarding a travel trailer on fire described as “fully involved.” Scanner traffic indicates the travel trailer was occupied by a “disgruntled employee” of the property owner and the employee proceeded to “torch” the trailer after being asked to leave.
The fire is fully under control and Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies were requested to the scene to investigate a suspected 451, police code for arson. Scanner traffic indicates the disgruntled employee had left the area.
UPDATE 5:39 p.m.
According to Barbara Caporgno, the owner of the property where the fire occurred, the fire was purposefully set but with no criminal intent implied by the “arson” characterization from earlier scanner traffic.
Caporgno told us Mendocino County had ordered removal of the trailer due to code violations. Unable to afford the costs of demolition and dismantling of the trailer, Caporgno and family attempted to dismantle the trailer and systematically burn it. This endeavor began this morning and Hopland fire subsequently responded.
As to the characterization reported in earlier scanner traffic that a “disgruntled employee” started the fire, Caporgno said that was misinformation reported by a family member suffering from dementia. The “employee” was in fact a tenant/renter of the trailer who did have to leave because the trailer was being dismantled. Caporgno emphasized that no criminal act occurred.