61-year-old man detained in connection to 6 fires in Larkspur, Corte Madera

LARKSPUR, Calif. -- Police detained a 61-year-old man Saturday morning in connection with six brush fires set overnight in Corte Madera and Larkspur that were quickly contained but kept firefighters and police officers busy for several hours.

Eric Thomas Larson was detained after a witness saw him the area of a blaze at Larkspur Plaza and notified police.

He was taken into custody on a probation hold and booked at Marin County Jail while an investigation into his possible involvement in the fires continues, according to Margo Rohrbacher, spokesperson for the Central Marin Police Authority. Larsen, who has no fixed address, was on probation for property crimes in Marin County, officials said.



The first three blazes, reported in the Corte Madera marsh area at 11 p.m. Friday, were quickly extinguished, authorities said.

On Saturday morning, about 5:45 a.m., a fire was sparked off Citron Fire Road in Larkspur's Blue Rock neighborhood, burning half an acre and spurring authorities to evacuation 20 nearby homes on Cedar Avenue and Opal Street.

A short time later, two more brush fires broke out, on Larkspur Plaza Drive and on Rose Lane.

No injuries were reported and no structures were damaged by the fires, officials said.

Crews from Kentfield, Ross Valley, San Rafael, and Marin County fire departments responded to assist, along with well as officers from Mill Valley Police Department and the Marin County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation is being conducted by the Marin County Fire Investigation Team and Central Marin Police Investigations unit. Anyone with information can call CMPA at (415) 927-5150.

All evacuations were accomplished by officers going door-to-door and notifying residents, Rohrbacher said. The agency's new Hi-Lo siren notification system was not activated. Had it been a larger area or a fast-moving fire, the siren would have been used.
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