Two-alarm fire in Newberg ruled as arson; remains of suspect found inside

Two-alarm fire in Newberg.
Two-alarm fire in Newberg.(KPTV)
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:00 PM PDT
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NEWBERG Ore. (KPTV) – Investigators have determined a fire resulting in a “total loss” of Newberg’s DCI International building was caused by arson.

Officials said Thursday evening the fire in the 300 block of Springbrook Road was determined to have been started by transient Ricardo Cornejo Garcia, 46, who was found dead inside the building. The Newberg-Dundee Police Department added the building is believed to have been selected at random by Garcia who was suffering a mental health crisis.

Medical officials were first dispatched April 10 at 2 a.m. after a man called 911 reporting he was having a medical issue at the garden center of Fred Meyer in Newberg. Over the phone, the man told the call-taker “vampires” were after him and he was “going to start a fire.”

Due to the nature of the call, police officers were also sent to the Fred Meyer.

While no one was in the area the caller claimed, officials witnessed smoke coming from an area across the road from Fred Meyer.

The Newberg-Dundee Police Department said the entire DCI International building quickly became engulfed by flames and was later declared a total loss.

While the investigation continued, it was determined the call was made by Ricardo Cornejo Garcia whose body was found inside the burned building and identified on April 18.

Officials speculate Garcia, who was having a mental health crisis, believed he was at the Fred Meyer when making the call. He then forced entry into the DCI International building and set the fire.