Contra Costa County, California – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) revealed today that fire investigators made an arrest yesterday in connection with a fireworks-related fire behind apartments in the 1700-block of Hargrove Street in Antioch that damaged eight units and displaced 40 occupants.
James Sossaman, 44, of Antioch, was arrested for Unlawfully Causing a Fire to Inhabited Structures and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.
The blaze, which started as a grass fire, occurred on May 31 just after 5:30 p.m.
Upon arrival, firefighters said the grass fire had already extended from the grass into a two-story apartment complex and a second-alarm response was ordered. An aggressive fire attack followed in an attempt to slow the spread of fire.
Through witness interviews and surveillance videos, investigators located the person they say is responsible for the grass fire and determined it was caused by Sossaman throwing an M-100 pyrotechnic device into the field behind the apartment complex.
Sossaman was also found to be on felony probation. During a search of his apartment, a loaded firearm was located along with several other illegal fireworks.
The fire displaced 40 residents and the American Red Cross assisted with housing for those displaced.
No firefighters were injured. Two civilians were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation.