Officials disagree over cause of Yorck’s Castle fire | SierraSun.com
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Officials disagree over cause of Yorck’s Castle fire

Jeremy Morrison, Sun News Service

Although local officials have closed the books on the June 16 house fire on River Road, a state investigator has deemed the incident an arson and is continuing the investigation.

Phil Porto, an arson bomb investigator with the California Department of Forestry, said there was sufficient evidence to point towards a flammable liquid being used to ignite the blaze that engulfed the six-unit apartment building.

The copper-topped structure, known as Yorck’s Castle, is located four miles south of Truckee at 6960 River Road.

“There was a considerable amount spread,” Porto said of the unidentified flammable.

Squaw Valley Fire Department Chief Pete Bansen said that he does not believe the fire was intentionally started.

“I think it’s a little bit premature to call it an arson fire. It can be an accident right up until the moment you find a smoking gun,” Bansen said. “I have a lot of trouble coming to a sinister conclusion.”

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department has closed their investigation into the matter, considering the fire accidental.

“It’s absolutely not an arson, not by any stretch of the imagination,” said Placer County Detective Sgt. Jeff Granum.

Porto said that the department of forestry will continue to investigate the fire, although their efforts are currently at a stand-still.

“With no leads and no contacts the case will basically be deactivated,” Porto said.


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