SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen on Tuesday has identified the suspect arrested for allegedly starting a massive 5-alarm fire at a San Jose Home Depot on April 9 that destroyed the building and caused over $17 million in damages and lost goods.

He said the suspect has been identified as 27-year-old Dyllin Jaycruz Gogue.

Rosen said Gogue was trying to steal merchandise from the store on Blossom Hill Road at about 5:30 p.m. He allegedly started a fire in an aisle, attempted to leave with a cartful of tools, and fled in a vehicle. He then continued his attempted theft spree at a Macy’s, according to Rosen.

VIDEO: Video shows pets rushed to safety during SJ Home Depot fire

“Miraculously, no one was hurt in this five-alarm fire that was so hot and so large…far, far too close to causing many injuries and deaths,” he said, causing an estimated $17 million in inventory loss.

“Within days, investigators with San Jose Police Department and ATF had a suspect using a warrant. San Jose PD arrested Gogue on Friday, April 15, less than two weeks after his horribly reckless and criminal behavior, left Home Depot a burned out shell.”

Gogue is charged with aggravated arson, seven counts of grand theft, and three counts of petty larceny, according to Rosen.
Rosen said he will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon and is facing a maximum sentence of 14 years to life.

VIDEO: As feds aid in SJ Home Depot fire investigation, industry experts share insight into process

Witnesses who spoke with ABC7 News claimed there was no immediate fire alarm and no sign of active sprinklers. The fire department said that is all under investigation.

“We were watching the ceiling come down in flames before any alarm came on,” said Jeff Bahm, who was inside during the fire. “It wasn’t until maybe three minutes after we left, this giant plume of smoke came rushing out to the front and then we all knew it is time to leave.”

“In this case, if in fact true, not having any suppression within the sprinkler systems… It’s like, what happened? Was it overwhelmed? Was it not enough? Or was it shut off? I think those are the things that the fire department- now with ATF help- are gonna come out and present at some point,” Schapelhouman shared.

He added, “You can overwhelm sprinkler systems- and we’ve seen that before in large warehouse facilities- meaning that the fire gets so big, the ability of the sprinkler system is not there to be able to put it out. So that’s a design issue, that’s a combustible load issue, that’s a code issue. And those are all real factors.”

When that time comes, he said what is ultimately identified could lead to widespread improvements.

“It’s not as if that’s the only Home Depot in the country, right?” he added. “Nobody’s looking to duplicate this.”

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