ORANGE COUNTY, CA-The fire that caused $1.5 million in damage to an apartment complex under construction by Irvine Co. was set by an arsonist, local fire investigators say.

“We dug through the rubble and determined that this fire was intentionally set,” says Capt. Paul Hunter of the Orange County Fire Authority. A full-scale search for the arsonist is continuing, Hunter adds. reported Aug. 28 that Orange County officials were investigating the cause of the blaze that leveled three apartment buildings and an on-site community center. Flames shot more than 100 feet in the air from the complex, on Irvine Boulevard between Jamboree and Culver roads.

The development, called Solana, was slated to open by the end of this year. Chunks of its burning debris rained down on some neighboring condominiums, forcing the evacuation of more than 100 people.

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