Suspect arrested for starting house and vegetation fires


An arson suspect has been arrested for starting a structure fire and multiple vegetation fires Sunday morning in unincorporated Santa Cruz County, Cal Fire officials said Monday.

Fire crews from multiple agencies including Cal Fire responded at 8:30 a.m. to a structure fire in the 300 block of Warren Drive in the community of Bonny Doon.

Cal Fire officials said after firefighters extinguished the blaze they found multiple small vegetation fires along Smith Grade in Santa Cruz County.

At 4 p.m., as an investigation continued into the fires, Cal Fire peace officers and sheriff’s deputies arrested 61-year-old Bonny Doon resident Peter Abate.

According to Cal Fire officials, a two-story, single-family home was destroyed in the structure fire while the vegetation fires were contained and controlled to less than one acre.

Cal Fire officials they continue to investigate the fires.

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