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Arson Suspected in Sonora Fire

Sonora Fire Department and law enforcement officials investigating that fire yesterday afternoon on South Shepherd Street have sent material samples from the burnt home to the Department of Justice to determine if the fire was indeed arson caused.

Sonora Fire Department Chief Mike Barrows says they have tentatively ruled out all the typical causes of a fire like this, such as electrical, or gas leak.

Fire officials at the scene yesterday said the origin of the fire seemed suspicious.

Besides temperatures in the mid-to upper 90-degree range Tuesday causing heat exhaustion, Sonora firefighters were hindered in their battle during yesterday´s fire by not being able to get to the flames.

Barrows explained the older construction practices and numerous remodels created pockets inside walls and the roof that where hard to get water to. “It was just difficult to be able to get in there and ladder and properly access where the fire was running,” the chief said.

He said they finally were able to do that by using a combination of roof ladders to get up on the various roofs of the structure to the peak to get the heat out.

The wooden two-story home was used both by a business downstairs and as a rental property upstairs.

It took fire crews several hours to finally get a total control of the fire that did an estimated $200,000 damage to the house and contents.