Man arrested for setting Bear Creek Fire

Man arrested for setting Bear Creek Fire”

A man was arrested for starting the Bear Fire which burned 391 acres of land, two homes, four outbuildings, 17 cars and injured multiple firefighters in the Boulder Creek area.

Todd Liberty said Marlon Dale Coy was being held in Santa County jail on looting and several arson charges.

"Rarely have I seen more reckless actions than those committed by this depraved man", said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart. Witnesses say they saw Coy set the fire the night of October 16, which spread and resulted in injuries to 13 firefighters and the destruction of two homes, four outbuildings, five RV's and 17 vehicles. Investigators declined to identify who Coy was feuding with.

Shortly after the Sheriff's Office ordered more than 150 residents in the area to evacuate, Coy looted an evacuated house on Hidden Springs Road, Liberty said. He stole $15,000 worth of jewelry and a bicycle, Liberty said. Thirteen firefighters were injured, three seriously. "If not for the heroic efforts by the first responders, he could have been facing homicide charges".

Coy has denied starting the fire. All four men were living on the property. Coy was dating relationship with Julie Cabibi, who lived in a house at the Diane's Way address. Deputies had stopped him on a local roadway, riding the bike, wearing the clothes and carrying a backpack containing the jewelry. When police searched the backpack they found the stolen jewels.

However, three men told investigators that they were with Coy when he allegedly ignited the Bear Fire.

Meanwhile, deputies are still trying to find Cabibi so they can interview her. Cabibi is not a person of interest, but detectives are seeking to speak with her, Clark said. Sgt. Chris Clark said the Sheriff's Office is aware of allegations about vehicle theft at the property, which incidentally was raided by authorities in 2015 for housing a chop shop. Cabibi posted on her Facebook page prior to Friday's announcement that she already believed fire was started intentionally. We spoke with residents of the Boulder Creek area, who said they have reported suspicious activity to law enforcement recently, which included the burglary of expensive solar power equipment.

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