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New details emerge in Pleasanton arson case

Police allege man set clothing rack aflame in domestic dispute, igniting destructive house fire

Pleasanton police confirmed new information about last month's house fire on Paseo Navarro, with the recent completion of the fire investigator's final report into the arson case.

The report determined the fire that engulfed the single-story house during the early-morning hours of April 17 originated in the garage when clothes hanging on a metal clothing rack were intentionally set on fire, according to Pleasanton police Capt. Larry Cox.

This was the scene soon after LPFD firefighters arrived to battle the residential structure fire on April 17. (Photo courtesy of LPFD)

Investigators allege Kent Charles Hermanson used a kitchen cooking torch to light the clothing on fire while angry due to an argument with his wife. He was reportedly one of six people in the house at the time.

Prosecutors have charged Hermanson, 39, with one felony count of arson of an inhabited dwelling, one felony count of committing arson during a state-of-emergency declaration and four felony counts of child endangerment, according to Cox.

The defendant remained in custody at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin as of Friday afternoon, Cox said.

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The fire caused serious damage to the house and the heavy flames threatened several neighboring homes starting at around 4:30 a.m. April 17 on Paseo Navarro, a horseshoe neighborhood street off Hopyard Road near Hansen Park.

Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department officials said crews were able to limit the damage only to that house, sparing the adjacent homes. All six occupants of the primary house escaped without injury.

Police and fire officials reported almost right away that they deemed the fire suspicious, and federal investigators were on-scene that day to help with the case.

Hermanson was arrested six days later, police said.

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New details emerge in Pleasanton arson case

Police allege man set clothing rack aflame in domestic dispute, igniting destructive house fire

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, May 25, 2020, 10:38 pm

Pleasanton police confirmed new information about last month's house fire on Paseo Navarro, with the recent completion of the fire investigator's final report into the arson case.

The report determined the fire that engulfed the single-story house during the early-morning hours of April 17 originated in the garage when clothes hanging on a metal clothing rack were intentionally set on fire, according to Pleasanton police Capt. Larry Cox.

Investigators allege Kent Charles Hermanson used a kitchen cooking torch to light the clothing on fire while angry due to an argument with his wife. He was reportedly one of six people in the house at the time.

Prosecutors have charged Hermanson, 39, with one felony count of arson of an inhabited dwelling, one felony count of committing arson during a state-of-emergency declaration and four felony counts of child endangerment, according to Cox.

The defendant remained in custody at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin as of Friday afternoon, Cox said.

The fire caused serious damage to the house and the heavy flames threatened several neighboring homes starting at around 4:30 a.m. April 17 on Paseo Navarro, a horseshoe neighborhood street off Hopyard Road near Hansen Park.

Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department officials said crews were able to limit the damage only to that house, sparing the adjacent homes. All six occupants of the primary house escaped without injury.

Police and fire officials reported almost right away that they deemed the fire suspicious, and federal investigators were on-scene that day to help with the case.

Hermanson was arrested six days later, police said.

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