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San Rafael Police Department

San Rafael Police Department

For Immediate Release

Author: Sergeant Justin Graham
Date: May 08, 2024 6:20 AM
Case Number: SR24-02645

Man Arrested for Setting Off Fireworks that Caused Fire

San Rafael, CA – Cary Newman, a 54-year-old Novato resident, was arrested by San Rafael Police after he set off homemade fireworks that caused a small vegetation fire in Terra Linda.  SRFD was able to extinguish the fire, and no one was injured.  Newman was booked into the Marin County Jail on several charges related to the fire and the homemade fireworks.

On Tuesday, 05/07/24, just after 6:02 PM, the San Rafael Police and Fire Departments responded to Cresta Way on a report of a vegetation fire to the rear of an apartment complex building.  Witnesses reported hearing an explosion just before the fire started.

When police and firefighting personnel arrived, they were directed to the vegetation fire behind one of the apartment buildings. Due to the fire's proximity to the apartments, residents were evacuated as a safety precaution. At the same time, witnesses pointed out Newman as the person seen setting off fireworks when the fire started.

Officers contacted Newman and began interviewing him.  They learned that he had set off a homemade firework that caused the fire.  Newman also admitted to possessing additional homemade fireworks in his vehicle.  The fireworks were seized as evidence in this case.

Newman was arrested and booked into the Marin County Jail on charges of setting a fire, manufacturing fireworks, and possession of fireworks.

SRFD quickly put out the fire, which was only a few hundred square feet in size.  No one was injured, and after firefighters extinguished the fire, residents were told they could return to their apartments.  The UC Berkeley Bomb Squad assisted with taking possession of the homemade fireworks and fireworks-making materials.


This case reminds us of the dangers of fireworks. All fireworks are prohibited in Marin County and San Rafael. Persons who violate the Marin County fireworks prohibition can be held criminally and civilly liable.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call San Rafael Police at (415) 485-3000. Tips can also be made online at http://www.srpd.org/tips.

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Posted: May 08, 2024 6:18 PDT by Sergeant Justin Graham

Updated: May 08, 2024 6:20 PDT by Justin Graham


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