Manteca officials investigating car fire as arson

California Connection
Data pix.

MANTECA, Calif. (KTXL) -- An early morning car fire, that Manteca firefighters quickly extinguished, is now being investigated as arson, according to officials.

“When firefighters arrived, it appeared that the fire was on the outside the vehicle, on the trunk and on the hood so the front and rear, which is obviously very unusual,” Battalion Chief Chris Jelinek told FOX40.  "You wouldn’t expect a fire to start in two separate places at the same time.”

Jelinek said the fire car fire on Bermuda Lane was dangerously close to spreading since it was parked in the home's driveway.

“Thankfully for crews, the fire was contained to the vehicle. It didn’t spread the house or another vehicle that were threatened at the time,” said Jelinek.

According to officials, the car fire is now being investigated as arson by the Manteca fire department and police thanks in part to surveillance footage from a neighbor.

“What the footage shows is that a vehicle parked about 50 feet away a subject got out of the vehicle carrying a bucket and shortly later that same bucket was found near the vehicle. And that vehicle was on fire,” said Jelinek.

Investigators later collected the Raiders bucket as evidence.

“It’s been submitted to the lab for evaluation to determine if it was some kind of an ignitable liquid like gasoline or something else,” said Jelinek.

Investigators said they are still waiting for those results and further analyzing the surveillance footage. If you have any information about the car fire, call Manteca police.

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