Car fire probably arson

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 11, 2004

Judice Caver was watching a basketball game on television when she heard something explode outside her home just after 11 p.m. Friday night.

“It sounded like a bomb exploded,&uot; Caver said.

She started outside and heard her car horn start blowing before she got to the door.

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Her car was on fire.

In a case of apparent arson, Caver’s 1991 Accord was destroyed.

The flames burned hot and high enough to char the grass in her front yard and melt and warp the vinyl siding to the left of her front door.

The car was parked only a few feet from her home.

Caver said, “My car’s been sitting there ever since I’ve been off work.

Now she’s not sure how she’ll be getting to work come Monday.

Caver — an employee at Chevron Oil — was alone in the house when she heard the explosion.

The car wasn’t the only thing burning.

“A spot that was behind the car, it was burning,” said Caver.

A neighbor, Tuesday Dixon, said she heard the car horn go off. She went to the window to see what was causing the commotion. “I seen a little piece of fire and I seen a car burning,” she said.

That “little piece of fire” was a plastic jug, burning about 8 feet from the car in the driveway.

According to Captain Mike Frith, of the Selma Fire Department Station 2, it was a “small plastic bottle with gasoline burning in it.”

Although the cause of fire won’t be officially determined until an investigation by the state fire marshal is complete, Frith said, “It seems like possible arson.”

A Selma Police officer collected the charred plastic remains for evidence in the investigation. The spot where the bottle burned is framed in soot.

Caver said the officer asked her if anybody might be mad at her.

“Not that I know of,” she said.

A similar case occured last week, when a car in Highland Hieghts burned after having an inciendiary device smashed against it, what fireman called a “molotov cocktail.”

Frith said he wasn’t familiar with that call and couldn’t comment on any possible connection.