Calif. Man Thinks FFs Caused Blast


Although a blast that destroyed an Oak Park house is being called arson, a man who owns the home suspects that firefighters who went inside may have played a role in the explosion.

Still wearing his American Airlines pilot uniform, Chris Liu arrived at the house Tuesday afternoon to see what was left of the house that he and his wife Sandra have owned for the last year.

Liu said he was on the East Coast when the house exploded Monday, injuring four firefighters who'd come to investigate reports of a gas leak.

The explosion sent debris flying from the vacant home at 3820 25th Ave.

Liu declined to be interviewed on camera by KCRA 3, but as he sat in car Tuesday afternoon, he told an investigator that he believes it may have been the firefighters who triggered the explosion.

The man told investigators that the crowbar they used to break down the door or static electricity in their clothing may have caused a spark.

Lloyd Ogan, acting Sacramento fire chief, said Tuesday that officials expect the arson investigation to intensify over the next few days.

"They found evidence at the scene that indicates to them that it was a deliberate act physical evidence," Ogan said.

The kind of evidence that officials found was not revealed.

City building inspectors took pictures of the site Tuesday, and a Pacific Gas and Electric inspector came by with an official from the California Public Utilities Commission.

According to Sacramento County records, the house had been worth nearly a quarter of a million dollars until the previous owner lost it in foreclosure. The records indicate when the Lius bought it last summer, they paid less than $38,000.

"You know, this is a house. Obviously we loved the house. We put a lot of effort into making it look nice for the neighborhood," Sandra Liu said.

The Lius said they had been renovating the house and getting ready to put it back up for rent, and that they were at the house on Saturday.

One neighbor said it was more recent than that.

"Saturday, and I believe my kids saw them Sunday, also the owners," neighbor Cami Durst said.

Chris Liu was upset because he said investigators asked his wife if she'd tell them if she was the one responsible for the explosion. An investigator said it's a standard question to ask in such an investigation.

The Lius live in Colfax.

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