Investigators have determined that the Ukiah house fire that ignited around 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 25, 2022, was the result of arson.
Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Battalion Chief Justin Buckingham, who also is one of Mendocino County’s premier arson investigators, told us an analysis of the scene determined the fire was deliberately set by an unknown offender or offenders.
The house, located on the 100 block of Porizio Lane, was abandoned at the time. Inside, investigators located items that suggested recently squatters had taken residence in the home. Battalion Chief Buckingham told us that squatters have been an issue at the residence for years but there was no one on site when firefighters arrived on Sunday night.
But, Battalion Chief Buckingham stated that the fire Sunday night “was not the result of an unattended warming or cooking fire.”
On Sunday evening, firefighters responded to the property directly east of the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op and found the flames were located on the front-facing, right side of the building. Crews searched the building for any sign of inhabitants but found the home abandoned.
In recognition of Fire Prevention Week (10/9-10/15), Battalion Chief Buckingham reminds all community members to check their smoke detector is operational and that each household has a plan to escape in the case of a fire.