Arson suspected in El Centro residential fire

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EL CENTRO — The El Centro Police and Fire dispatch center began receiving multiple 911 calls May 8 around 6:30 p.m., for a report of a residence fire on the 500 block of Orange Ave. in El Centro, according to an El Centro Fire press release.

The first fire units arrived on scene four minutes after the initial 911 call, and found a residence with heavy smoke coming from the doors and attic. The first fire captain on scene created a second alarm incident, requesting an additional engine company from Imperial County Fire Department.

El Centro Firefighters performed an aggressive fire attack, according to the press release, and were able to quickly extinguish the fire. The firemen were unaware upon arrival if anybody was in the home, yet it was reported that one occupant lived there. A few minutes later, the resident was accounted for and found outside of the home uninjured, according to the press release.

Fire crews protected the surrounding residences, thus containing the fire to the one residence involved, preventing any further extension or spread to other properties. The second alarm was cancelled due to the swift and rigorous effort of firefighters on scene, according to the report.

No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported. Gold Cross Ambulance, Imperial Irrigation District and SoCal Gas also assisted on scene. The Imperial County Chapter of the Red Cross assisted with the displaced occupant. El Centro Fire Department Investigators concluded the fire to be arson. A person of interest was detained and taken in for questioning, according to the press release.