On Tuesday morning, at 5:57 am, GVPD Officers and the Grass Valley Fire Department responded to reports of a commercial structure fire at 123 Margaret Lane.
The first arriving Grass Valley fire units found a 2-story commercial structure with fire involvement external and internal on both floors of the building. Crews worked swiftly to extinguish the fire, and two additional buildings on the property were saved. Grass Valley Firefighters were assisted at the fire by NCCFD, Cal Fire and Ophir Hill with Higgins and Penn Valley providing cover fire engines for empty stations.
Grass Valley Police Detectives worked with the Grass Valley Fire Marshall to determine the cause of the fire. They determined that the fire was most likely an act of arson. Throughout the day GVPD Detectives uncovered additional leads and evidence that helped them identify a suspect.
At 2:58 pm, they located and arrested 35-year-old Grass Valley resident Christopher Rex for the following charges:
• 2 counts of attempted commercial burglary – attempted break-ins on Margaret Lane
• 2 counts of burglary – break-in at one location on Margaret Lane and one location on Hughes Road
• 1 count of burglary and 1 count of arson – break-in at the location of the fire on Margaret Lane
All these burglaries and attempted burglaries occurred in the early morning hours leading up to the fire.