CONCORD, CALIF. – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) announced its fire investigators, working with Clayton, Concord and Pittsburg police, made arrests over the weekend in two separate intentionally set fires in Pittsburg and Clayton.
On Saturday, Jan. 22, Con Fire and Pittsburg Police were dispatched to the 3700 block of Railroad Avenue, Pittsburg, where a person was reported opening fire hydrants. On arrival, an individual identified as Dennis Wolfenbarger informed first responders he had set a fire in an unoccupied nearby business. Firefighters were able to remove a small metal container with burning material inside before damage to the structure occurred.
Dennis Wolfenbarger, 42, an Oakley resident, was arrested by Pittsburg Police for Arson to Property (PC § 451(d)) and Tampering with a Utility (PC § 498(a)(6)) and transported to Martinez Detention Facility.
On Friday, Jan. 21, Con Fire firefighters responded to an exterior structure fire at 1500 Kirker Pass Road in the city of Clayton. The fire was a large debris fire at the rear door of a business, which damaged the exterior and extended into the interior of the structure.
Video surveillance obtained by investigators showed an adult white male, wearing a black jacket, black pants, and a red t-shirt in the area at the time of the incident.
The subject, later identified as Kevin Cooper, was seen constructing a fire, placing cardboard and wood on it to make it larger. Cooper was also seen in the video immediately leaving the area as the fire burned. Cooper was later stopped by Concord Police, wearing the same clothing in the surveillance video. Interviewed by fire investigators, Cooper admitted being in the area at the time of the fire.
Kevin Cooper, 57, resident of Concord, was arrested by Con Fire investigators on Jan. 21 charged with Arson to an Inhabited Structure (PC § 451(b)). Clayton Police transported Cooper to the Martinez Detention Facility after he was interviewed by fire investigators.
Con Fire’s Fire Investigation Unit asks residents to help them fight the crime of arson by calling the Arson Tip Line at 1-866-50-ARSON. They caution residents not to hesitate on information that seems too little or unimportant, adding some of the most valuable tips come from residents who were not aware what they saw was very important to the investigation of an incident. Residents can leave a recorded message on the tip line about fire-related criminal activity in English or Spanish.
Tips can be anonymous, and all tips are treated confidentially. But investigators sometimes need additional information, so contact information is encouraged
About Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) — A recognized fire service leader – – Con Fire provides fire and emergency medical services to more than a million people across its 304 square-mile District area, and through mutual aid, in and around the 20 cities and unincorporated communities of Contra Costa County, California. With few exceptions, county emergency ambulance transport services are provided by Con Fire through its unique sub-contractor Alliance model across the District and beyond to include some 520 square miles of the county. In 2021, the District responded to nearly 72,000 fire and EMS emergencies and dispatched more than 100,000 ambulances, providing expert medical care on more than 74,000 ambulance transports. The District, with 26 fire stations and more than 400 employees, is dedicated to preserving life, property, and the environment.