Ex-boyfriend sets fire to East Angela home


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.

— Dolores Fox Ciardelli

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Like this comment
Posted by PW Reader
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 8, 2010 at 11:47 pm

The city has red-tagged the house; where did the rest of the inhabitants go? Hopefully, friends or relatives took them in, otherwise the American Red Cross can help, or perhaps their religious community, or the Pleasanton community at large.

Not a fun way to start the summer for this family. My best wishes to them.

Like this comment
Posted by Diva
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 8, 2010 at 11:54 pm

I feel sorry for the grandparents. The granddaughter and her ex should get a life.

Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2010 at 3:23 am

and why is the EX-boyfriend living with the family??

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 9, 2010 at 8:02 am

I hope the father of the children can get the help he needs with mental health services. I just hope he has insurance for mental help professionals or contacts the services such as those provided at Axis in Pleasanton. The children may need some counseling if they have been witnessing chaos in the home with a mentally ill family member. Good luck.

Like this comment
Posted by yomama
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 9, 2010 at 8:37 am

A couple of 23 year olds with 3 kids already living with the grandparents - sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer. Doesn't welfare pay enough for them to rent a trailer?

I do feel sorry for the grandparents though.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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