Explosion in Bay Area, California suburb damages cigarette store
Thursday, January 22, 2009
A small explosion blew out the windows of a local cigarette store in Pleasant Hill, California this morning. A police officer was driving by the area at approximately 5:00 a.m., when the explosion occurred. Due to the early morning hour, no one was injured in the blast. Firefighters responded quickly and the fire was brought under control shortly. There appears to be fairly little damage to the neighboring store fronts.
This is the fourth time in the last year that the store has had arson related troubles. The owner, Joe Banga, has decided to sell off the store because of this latest attack.
"I'm done," said Banga, who has owned the store for almost five years. "I'm going to sell it."
"The damage is pretty bad," he added. "I have no choice. It's a loss, loss, loss."
Police do not know why the store has been repeatedly targeted. According to the owner, there have three other attempts to burn down the store since August 2008.
"Obviously with these attempts, somebody's trying to get this business burned down. But we haven't found specific reasons," said police lieutenant Jose Delatorre.
The "Cigarettes! Outlet" is the right most store in the shopping center
At noon, the Fire Investigations team was still on scene.
The store front.
- "Explosion Rocks Pleasant Hill Cigarette Outlet" — , January 22, 2009
- Robert Salonga. "Fire, explosion prompts Pleasant Hill owner to close liquor store for good" — , January 22, 2009