Arrest made in arson at landmark Sebastapol business


Sgt. David Ginn said a surveillance video police became aware of Wednesday morning shows 53-year-old Steven Barton Edmonds starting the fire outside the Sebastopol landmark at 265 Petaluma Ave.

Fire Chief Bill Braga said the blaze started around 5:40 p.m. in hay bales outside the store and spread inside the building where it burned hay and straw bales, clothing, wood stove pellets and other items. The fire caused $2.8 million in damage to the structure and contents.

Edmonds was arrested at 9:03 a.m. at the Sebastopol Post Office at 920 S. Main St. on suspicion of arson and a violation of his probation for a theft case in Sonoma County, Ginn said.

Edmonds has more than 70 contacts with Sebastopol police for public intoxication, trespassing, vandalism and battery, Ginn said.

Edmonds is being held under $1 million bail in the Sonoma County jail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Sonoma County Superior Court on Friday afternoon.

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