A male accused of lighting a fire that ended up destroying a Residence Depot — and also blanketed a South San Jose neighborhood in noxious smoke and burned so scorching that it activated temperature satellites — was seeking to make a diversion when he produced off with a cart entire of stolen instruments, authorities stated Tuesday.
The five-alarm hearth speedily grew into a conflagration and forced hundreds to flee the store and nearby firms and homes. The fireplace raised questions about the building’s hearth-response techniques, right after witnesses described the fireplace alarms did not seem until finally approximately everybody was outside, and that the store’s sprinklers did not seem to activate.
Dyllin Jaycruz Gogue, 27, of San Jose, is accused of deliberately igniting the blaze that erupted on April 9 in the lumber segment of the Household Depot at 920 Blossom Hill Road. He has been billed with 3 counts of arson, seven counts of grand theft and 3 counts of petty theft, which have a sentence of 14 many years to daily life in jail if he is convicted on all the alleged crimes.
“I’m thankful that my workplace — the DA’s workplace — is not prosecuting a a number of murder situation today,” District Legal professional Jeff Rosen said Tuesday, praising the speedy response of extra than 100 metropolis firefighters. “Miraculously no 1 was hurt … But it came close — considerably, far far too shut — to triggering a lot of accidents and fatalities.”
Investigators say Gogue lit the fireplace just before attempting to flee the keep. He was stopped by an worker but took off in a waiting vehicle, Rosen stated. The investigation also alleges that Gogue experienced stolen products from a close by Bass Pro Outlets retail outlet prior to the blaze, and that after leaving the scene he went on to steal from an East Bay Macy’s retail store.
He was arrested Friday and booked into the Elmwood men’s jail. Through his original court overall look Tuesday, Gogue did not enter a plea and was remanded to jail without having bail, pending one more court appearance on June 1.
The fireplace was initially documented to dispatchers by Household Depot personnel and patrons at about 5:30 p.m. on April 9, and it took firefighters six several hours to get the blaze underneath command. Investigators have believed the fireplace brought about $17 million in stock loss for Household Depot, in addition to tens of thousands and thousands in structural destruction to the creating.
“When somebody commits a horrible act of this magnitude that endangers lots of, our people today spring into action to help save lives — and that’s what our law enforcement department and initially responders did that day,” police Main Anthony Mata claimed.
Nonetheless, concerns about how the flames had been ready to level the Dwelling Depot so quickly and regardless of whether fire code violations at the developing performed a role continue being unanswered. Information just lately received by this information business reveal that a number of notable fire code violations ended up identified about the earlier two yrs at the 98,000-square-foot retail store.
On May well 19, 2020, San Jose’s Bureau of Fireplace Prevention discovered that the retail store was not preserving a suitable sum of clearance among the ceiling, where the sprinkler procedure was secured, and storage. Inspectors also instructed Home Depot officers to “secure insulation hanging from the ceiling.”
The data advise that San Jose fire officials were being tasked with re-inspecting the code violation at the very least 23 situations and that it was not marked as remedied until eventually Oct. 26, 2021, or 17 months after the violations have been to start with documented.
In a separate inspection in December 2020, fireplace officers recorded that Household Depot experienced failed to deliver proof of current inspections of the store’s fireplace alarm and sprinkler techniques, a violation that was reconciled the subsequent month.
A hazmat inspection on Oct. 5, 2021 — the last time the web-site was examined by safety officials — uncovered an added violation for inadequate workspace for electrical services equipment. That violation was remedied on Oct. 26, 2021.
San Jose Fire Chief Robert Sapien Jr. said Tuesday that his division was continue to investigating no matter if the fire devices or the former code violations afflicted the development of the fire.
“It is hard without having all of the information and facts still out there to say how particularly this fireplace was precisely lit and then how quickly it distribute,” Sapien mentioned. “The size of the hearth was absolutely amazing, and it leaves us with some issues that we’d like to have answered as well.”
Court information present Gogue has a minor criminal heritage in Santa Clara County, most of which surfaced in the to start with couple of months of this 12 months.
He was billed with misdemeanor battery in March 2021 right after getting arrested in Campbell three months earlier. On Jan 21, he was arrested in Sunnyvale and later on billed with petty theft. Gogue was arrested once again on March 5 at an REI Keep in Sunnyvale, and four days later on he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of petty theft and staying less than the affect of a controlled compound. For that conviction, he was sentenced to a 12 months of probation and was requested to keep absent from the store. On March 30, he was arrested in San Jose and two days later was again charged with petty theft.
The arson expenses contain the blaze at the House Depot as nicely as fire destruction to two adjacent homes. None of the grand theft and petty theft charges submitted Tuesday are related to these previous conditions or to the thefts alleged on the day of the fireplace. The new theft rates span from October 2021 to April 2, involving $17,000 worth of goods from 6 South San Jose suppliers.
Investigators have not linked Gogue to any other fires.
In a statement Tuesday, Residence Depot applauded the investigation that led to Gogue’s arrest, and thanked its “associates for the quick action and braveness they showed to speedily evacuate the developing, which ensured no a person was harmed.”
Mayor Sam Liccardo also emphasised the mortal hazard that the town prevented and lauded the investigation by police — with the help of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — that led to Gogue’s arrest.
“This was a fireplace that could be detected from outer area and in just ft of hundreds of properties, Steinbeck Elementary College and numerous, a lot of other delicate spots in our metropolis,” Liccardo said. “I am grateful that this is only an arson and theft investigation.”