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Santa Rosa garage fire ruled arson

Santa Rosa fire inspectors have determined a suspicious fire that destroyed a garage and contents of a northwest Santa Rosa residence was deliberately set.

The arson fire early Tuesday morning caused about $10,000 damage to the two-car garage and destroyed the contents, which included a large number of personal items, said Marita Petersen, fire inspector for the Santa Rosa Fire Department.

The fire started at the entrance to the Airway Drive duplex garage, which was below the residence's living quarters. No one was home at the time.

Callers reported the fire at about 2:10 a.m. and told of hearing an explosion. Petersen said any explosion could have been the sound of a container blowing up, once it became hot enough.

There have been a number of small arson fires in the northwest part of town in recent months, including dumpster and debris fires, according to fire officials.

Petersen said investigators would be looking at that possibility of a connection.

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