Alleged Dispute With Property Owner Led To Arson That Destroyed Eureka Building

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EUREKA – A vacant Eureka motel office was destroyed by fire after a dispute with one of the owners.

Humboldt Bay Fire extinguished a fully involved structure fire at the former Blue Heron Lodge office on Broadway Monday afternoon around 2:30.

Officers arrested 30-year-old Eureka resident Kattie Yocum after the initial investigation deemed the fire suspicious and witnesses saw her running from the burning building. Officers determined that Yocum set the fire after a conflict with one of the property’s owners, Floyd or Betty Squires. The nature of that dispute is unknown at this time.

Yocum was booked in to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of arson.

As for the burnt out structure, public works staff determined that it was a potential hazard and covered the expense of emergency demolition.

While the city works to recover those costs and clear the debris pile, Public Works Director and Chief Building Official Brian Gerving said a plan for the remaining structure is still in the works. Gerving explained, “It is the subject of the lawsuit the city filed against the property owners in 2011. And it’s in a batch of properties that the court has not yet addressed so the receiver that has been appointed to help facilitate the repairs through the owners has not had the opportunity to do that for that property.”