May 27, 2017

Arson suspects from 2011 fires remain unidentified

Fires in Sacramento State’s Mariposa and Mendocino Halls on Oct. 13 have cost the university nearly $2.5 million in damage repairs, said Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Services Victor Takahashi.

The fires were set on the fifth floor of Mendocino Hall, and minutes later on the fourth floor of Mariposa Hall. After nearly two months of investigating, Cal-Fire declared the fires as arson on Dec. 7 and the suspect is still unidentified.

“We know the fires were ruled as arson, but we are still looking into them to get to the bottom of it,” said University Police spokesman Scott Christian. “We have to follow up with the leads of the case, so it’s still under active investigation on our end.”

After the necessary crime scene procedures, it was time for the University to begin repairs.

“At Mendocino, work involved the removal and replacement of light fixtures, fire alarms, strobes, horns, acoustic ceiling tiles, the first layer of drywall, wall coverings and base boards on the fifth floor,” Takahashi said.

Similar repairs have been made in Mariposa Hall. The third floor food lab only had water damage on the walls and ceiling caused by extinguishing the fire, but the fourth floor is where most of the repairs were made.

“On the fourth floor, the design studio spaces, gallery and kitchen area will be completely gutted and restored,” Takahashi said.

Takahashi also said books, furniture, files and other personal items in both buildings were cleaned and deodorized, while programs had to be temporarily relocated to other areas on campus.

Russell Preston can be reached at [email protected]

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