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Archived News Release from 2005

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Fire & Police Departments Ask for Public’s Help, Offer Safety Information on Preventing Arson Fires

Redwood City, CA - September 26 , 2005 – During the past few weeks several arson fires have been started in Redwood City. All of these fires occurred at night, were set in apartment buildings, and were most frequently started in carports, laundry rooms, storage areas, garbage containers, and other common areas. Fortunately, the quick action of the Fire Department has limited these fires from spreading and injuring residents.

The arsonist is still at large, and the Redwood City Fire and Police Departments are reminding the public of the importance of residents working together with the City to help protect the safety of our community, property, and lives. A $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for these crimes is offered by the Redwood City Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms. Any member of the community that may have information regarding any of these fires is asked to contact Detective Jackie Gouldson at 780-7620.

The Fire and Police Departments urge residents to observe these precautions:

  • Be alert to suspicious persons in carport areas and laundry room areas of apartment complexes
  • Immediately report any suspicious persons or activity to the Redwood City Police at 780-7100
  • In the event of a fire or other emergency, immediately call 911
  • Do not pile easily-combustible material such as furniture, clothing, junk, weeds, etc., in or around carports, laundry rooms, garbage areas, water heaters, underneath stairways, or in common areas.
  • Any fuels, propane cylinders, gas cans, garden machinery, charcoal, barbecue lighters, matches, and other ignition devices should be stored in a safe and secure manner.
  • All parked vehicles, including those in carports, should be locked.
  • Make sure all fire extinguishers in your home are easily accessible, in good working condition, and that all family members know how to use them.
  • Make sure that smoke detectors are installed throughout the home and that they are in good working condition.
  • Have an emergency/fire evacuation plan in place, and practice it with all members of the family.
  • Share all of this information with friends and neighbors.

Additional community safety tips, including precautions for apartment and other building owners, are available on the City’s website. More information on fire prevention is located at, and you can learn more about community policing at

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and City government.


Louis Vella
Administrative Chief/Fire Marshal

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