On 06/02/2022, at 1:15 p.m., the Chico Police and Fire Dispatch Center began receiving multiple 911 calls of a fire at a transient camp on the south side of Teichert Ponds behind the Kohls Department Store in South Chico. Several callers reported small explosions which were believed to be small propane tanks. Both Chico Fire personnel and Chico Police personnel responded immediately and found a fully engulfed fire in a large transient camp.
Chico Fire successfully and quickly extinguished the fire which was being fueled by a south wind.
Chico Police located two occupants of the camp and determined them both uninjured. They had managed to get themselves and their two dogs from the camp after the fire started.
Chico Police Officers conducted an investigation and learned one of the camp’s occupants, identified as 45 yearold Amita Gerfen, had caused the fire after dropping a burning candle. Further investigation led officers to believe Gerfen had been negligent in the causing of the fire. She was also found to have an outstanding warrant for her arrest and was placed under arrest for the warrant. The Chico Police will be requesting Charges for 452(d) PC; Unlawfully Causing a Fire.
Location: Teichert Ponds; South Chico
Victim: State of California
Suspect: Amita Gerfen 45 years old; homeless in Chico
Supervisor: N. Bauer S19
Commander: T. Tupper L7
The Chico Police Department is committed to ensuring our community is a safe place to live, work, and recreate within!