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Victim of suspected arson fire in fair condition

March 8, 2012 2:16:44 PM PST
A Napa man suspected of starting a fire in his apartment Wednesday morning as he was about to be evicted suffered second-degree burns on 10 percent of his body, authorities said Thursday.

Sheriff's deputies went to 55-year-old Regan St. John's apartment at 1415 Fourth St. near Franklin Street to serve eviction papers around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, Napa County sheriff's Capt. Tracey Stuart said.

The deputies received no response when they knocked on the door and were about to force it open when they smelled an accelerant and saw smoke, Stuart said.

St. John propped furniture against a door to the apartment and firefighters entered through a sliding glass door, Napa Fire Marshal Darren Drake said.

St. John was agitated and in pain when firefighters found him sitting on the outdoor patio adjacent to a bedroom smoking a cigarette, Drake said.

He was treated at the scene, then taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center before he was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center, Drake said.

St. John was burned on the back of his right leg and on his right hand, Drake said. He is in fair condition today, UC Davis Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Mar said.

There were shotgun shells in plain view on the floor when Napa firefighters got into the apartment, Drake said. The fire was extinguished in about 10 minutes, he said.

Fire investigators took samples of burned material inside the apartment to determine if a flammable liquid was used to start the fire, Drake said.

The apartment is on the first floor of a two-story apartment building, he said.


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