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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Coffee kiosk fire treated as arson

A “suspicious” fire that burned down the Cargo Coffee kiosk near King Hall has been classified as arson by authorities.

On May 1, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) joined the investigation with the UC Davis Police and Fire Departments. Items from the investigation were also sent to the ATF crime lab in Sacramento for further analysis.

“Our investigators and arson investigators from the UC Davis Fire Department and the ATF are working together to try to identify the person or persons responsible,” said Lt. Matthew Carmichael of the UC Davis Police Department.

Firefighters from the UC Davis Fire Department and city of Davis Fire Department had responded to a call from a law school groundskeeper at approximately 6 a.m. on April 30.

By the time they had reached the scene, the kiosk had been destroyed. No one had been injured.

The ATF is also helping investigate the discovery of a suspicious small object found inside a second kiosk located near Olson Hall on May 1, according to an article by Dateline UC Davis. Police believed the device could have started a similar fire to the one that burned down the kiosk near King Hall.

Campus authorities had discovered suspicious objects that may have indicated arson at the King Hall location.

Christian Tribble, who owns the kiosks, told FOX40 News that he found the device when he checked up on the Olson kiosk based on concerns about Friday’s incident.

“I saw that it looked out of place. I kind of, actually, picked it up for a minute to see what it was and then I noticed … a weird smell, like kind of an alcoholic smell,” Tribble said. “That’s when I put it down and called police.”

According to CBS13, the Yolo County Bomb Squad helped render the object safe with a remote-controlled robot while the adjacent School of Education, Sproul Hall, Voorhies Hall and the University House were evacuated.

Police are not revealing additional details about the device. They have also not determined whether the device and suspicious materials found at the King Hall kiosk are linked.

Carmichael said the UC Davis Police and Fire Departments will continue to look for potentially dangerous objects on campus.

“Obviously we’re keyed up quite a bit when there’s an arson,” Carmichael said. “We’re going to increase our diligence, and being out there to make sure something similar doesn’t happen to another venue.”

Because the investigation is ongoing, he also urged anyone from the campus community with information regarding the incident to come forward.

To contact the UC Davis Police Department, call their Crime Tip Line at 752-9944.

LESLIE TSAN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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