A police officer on routine patrol at 7:45 a.m. this morning in the 400 block of East Angela Street discovered a home fire that was allegedly set by one of the inhabitants.
The officer noticed smoke coming from a house with three adults and three small children standing in front, according to police reports. The homeowner was attempting to extinguish the fire with a garden hose running through a bedroom window.
The homeowner's wife told the officer that her granddaughter's ex-boyfriend, who lived in the home with them, had set the home on fire. The ex-boyfriend, Jose Martinez, 28, was one of the adults standing in front of the house, and the woman pointed him out to the officer.
Martinez is the father of the three children who were standing outside the home; he shares custody of them along with the homeowner's granddaughter, police said.
When two additional police officers arrived, Martinez began to leave the scene, walking rapidly down East Angela Street toward Second Street. The officers detained him, asking if he knew how the fire had begun.
"I started it," replied Martinez, according to police reports.
A small BIC lighter was recovered from his pocket, which he confirmed he'd used to start the fire. He was unable to provide any additional explanation for his actions and was placed on a psychiatric hold and transported to John George Psychiatric Pavilion in Alameda County Medical Center in San Leandro for evaluation. Criminal charges are also pending.
The Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department was at the scene, putting out the fire and securing the home. It is working with the Pleasanton Police Department on the arson investigation.
PG&E also responded and discovered additional fire safety violations. The city has "red tagged" the home at 455 E. Angela as uninhabitable at this time, although officials said it does not a danger to the neighboring houses.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Investigations Supervisor Sgt. Jim Knox at 931-5100, to be directed to the detectives handling the case.