BRAWLEY – In a special meeting Wednesday, the Brawley City Council voted to raise the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist that has been terrorizing downtown Brawley from $5,000 to $50,000.
“To the citizens,” said Brawley Police Chief Mark Gillmore, “I want to tell you that your Public Safety Departments are horrified at the events that are occurring in our City. We are doing everything we can to investigate these horrific events. Those investigations are ongoing. We have reached out to some local partners to assist us with the investigations and determinations if all of these fires are related to the same possible individual or what the sources of these fires actually are on an individual basis. This investigation is the number one priority for the City as you can see by their action today. The Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance. While we are diligent in what we are doing and we do that well, we need the public’s help in giving us any information that may lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who may be setting these fires. If you have any information, please contact Detective Sergeant Kelly Brown at (760)351-7777.”
Interim Fire Chief Chuck Paraza commented on Tuesday evening’s event.
“Shortly after 11:00 pm Tuesday night, we were dispatched to a commercial structure fire in 500 block of Main Street,” Said Peraza. “Our first engine on the scene found heavy smoke and fire of a commercial building. A 2nd alarm was immediately activated due to the heavy fire and smoke. There was no point of an initial interior attack to the building due to the intensity of the fire. A 3rd alarm was activated by me upon my arrival. The fire took approximately 4 hours to contain. There were no injuries, but there was significant damage to the building.”
A 2nd alarm for the City of Brawley consists of agencies from Calipatria, El Centro, Imperial County, and Westmorland.
A 3rd alarm consists of fire agents from Calexico, Calipatria prison, Niland, NAF, Holtville, and an additional ladder from Imperial County.
Mayor Sam Couchman thanked all of the fire departments for their rapid response to the City’s request for aid.