'Suspicious' fire claims mobile home
Arcata Fire District
McKINLEYVILLE – On the evening of Jan 8, around 8:22 p.m., Arcata Fire District was called to the 1700 block of Grange Road in McKinleyville for a reported structure fire.
Upon the arrival of Engine 8217 and Battalion Chief Sean Campbell, crews found a well-involved doublewide mobile home. Due to the amount of fire involvement, crews initiated an aggressive exterior attack of the fire. Neighbors reported that the structure was unoccupied. It took fire crews approximately 30 minutes to gain control of the fire. Crews were hampered by poor water supply and limited access to the fire.
The loss is estimated at $40,000. The cause of fire is yet to be determined and is still under investigation due to heavy damage and dangerous condition of the mobile home.
“We believe the fire to be suspicious in nature,” reported Battalion Chief Campbell. “This is a known ‘drug house’ and appears to be unoccupied.” Humboldt County Sheriff was called to the scene to take a report. Neighbors reported seeing a green Subaru, with a partial plate of 7PYW, leaving the area just before the fire started.
Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to call the Arcata Fire District at (707) 825-2000 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.
Sex offender arrested
Mad River Union
McKINLEYVILLE – A registered sex offender was arrested Monday afternoon, Jan. 9 after he allegedly touched a juvenile in an inappropriate manner at a laundromat in McKinleyville.
Deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office responded to the laundromat on the 1300 block of Hiller Road at 3 p.m. and talked to the juvenile, who said that Bryan Ross Main, 56, touched her inappropriately.
Main was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery, annoying or molesting a child under 18 years old, and failure to register. He was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, where his bail was set at $25,000.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.
Real estate scams abounding
Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office
HUMBOLDT – The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office recently received notification from the Humboldt Association of Realtors about a possible rental scam and is sharing this information to help citizens avoid being defrauded.
In the example cited by the Humboldt Association of Realtors, a Humboldt County home on Craigslist under the heading “House on Farm Land” was listed for rent at $875/month with an $875 deposit. The listing included both interior and exterior photographs, a rental application and a backstory about a family being transferred overseas. Interested parties were encouraged to contact the property owner at phone numbers outside the United States. With this legitimate-looking offer, the scammers were hoping to receive rent and a deposit for a home that either does not exist or that they do not own.
The DA’s office encourages people to be cautious in real estate dealings to avoid scams; warning signs include:
1. The offer appears too good to be true.
2. Communication is only offered through email (usually Hotmail or Yahoo) or international phone numbers.
3. You do not get timely answers to questions asked via phone or email.
4. People making the offer indicate they are out of state or even out of the country.
Finally, to protect yourself in real estate dealings, always do an additional check of the availability of the property you’re interested in with either the local realtors association or a professional property management company.