Santa Clara arson investigators are now looking into a large fire at a construction site on El Camino Real. The four-alarm fire broke out at 11:01 a.m. on June 28 at 1890 El Camino Real. The site was the future home of the Anantara Villas, a 56-unit condominium complex.
“Investigations like this are complicated,” said Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) Captain Wahid Kazem. “In any investigation, the scene itself tells a lot about what happened and given that we did not get access to the scene at the earliest Sunday, really hampered our investigation in determining how this fire started.”
“At this point, we don’t know if this fire was started as an arson or if this was the result of some other industrial incident that ignited the fire,” continued Kazem. “The scene has had umpteen gallons of water poured on it.”
Officers at the scene detained one man. That man was released a few hours later. Kazem cannot say why officers decided to take the man into custody, but he says it was unusual.
“There was obviously something there for us to believe that this person was potentially related to the fire,” said Kazem. “Usually at scenes like this, our job is to support the life safety measures, meaning evacuation, road closures and supporting the fire department in whatever they need to successfully contain and put out this fire.”
Kazem says a full investigation can take weeks considering the damage and the amount of water needed to put out the fire.
“The first determination is going to be whether this was an arson, meaning that it was purposely set, or whether this was an accident meaning that there was some mixture of combustibles left at the construction site, whether it was a welding machine or an electrical fire or something like that,” said Kazem.
Legend USA is the real estate developer behind the Anantara Villas project. The company released a statement following the fire.
“We will work with local authorities and related companies to conduct a thorough review of what happened and how to effectively prevent any such instances from happening in the future,” according to the statement released by Legend USA.
One construction worker was injured in the fire and suffered a sprained ankle.
One sales employee told The Weekly about two-thirds of the Anantara Villas was sold at the time of the fire. There’s no word on how many of those buyers have backed out of the sale. There is also no word on how much damage was done.
Legend USA is based in Saratoga. According to its website, it has another project in Mountain View.
The company’s website says Anantara “…offers impeccable quality, sophisticated Mediterranean architecture and modern finishes. Your Anantara home is a sanctuary away from the bustling metropolitan city, a balance of comfort and convenience.”