Fire at pot club in San Jose deemed suspicious

January 4, 2013 11:55:07 AM PST
Arson investigators are trying to find out what led to a fire at a medical marijuana dispensary in San Jose.

The employees at the dispensary are quickly cleaning up the mess left behind by this morning's fire, but getting rid of the negative feeling has not been as easy. Firefighters said that the blaze does appear to be intentionally set.

"It's upsetting, we try to do everything to the letter of the law and be upstanding for the city of San Jose and really be an established pillar here," said manager Ernie Arreola.

Firefighters say the broken window at the Palliative Health Center at 1670 Zanker Road is one of several clues that indicates arson.

"What makes is suspicious is that the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire. There was an odor of gasoline," said San Jose Fire Dept. Capt. Reggie Williams.

Company officials say they have no idea why someone would want to burn the place down.

"It's an unfortunate bump that we shouldn't have to expect to deal with, but it's something that we are prepped to deal with. And that is why we have such a good security system and security company," said Arreola.

The security company monitors all the cameras 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They called 911 the minute they picked up some activity at 4:20 a.m..

"I heard this club had gotten broken into before by a couple of teenagers," said Michael Corral, who works in the area.

Some of the people who work in the area are concerned about having a marijuana clinic as a neighbor. This location has had a burglary and some loitering issues before.

"They should have security there, maybe more people, police watching it. Maybe have less of them because there are a lot of clubs, everywhere you go there it's like liquor stores now," Corral.

"Our security system is pretty top notch, besides maybe adding more cameras for further distance, if that helps, that might be something," said Arreola.

San Jose police confirm they have been here four times within the last six months. Firefighters and managers won't say what the surveillance video captured, if anything. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.


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