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Some believe fire at Big Bear cabin where Dorner was hiding was intentional

6:31 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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STOCKTON, CA - Police radio traffic from Southern California where Christopher Dorner was barricaded in a Big Bear cabin has some believing the fire at the cabin was set intentionally.

"Go ahead with the plan with the burners," said one officer working the incident Tuesday on police radio. 

By Tuesday night, the cabin eventually burned to the ground.

Manteca police hostage negotiator Rex Osborn disputed the possibility that fire was intentional.

"Never have I been to a training where they say fires is an option to force them out," Osborn said. "We can control how we place tactical people, and how we handle negotiations. You start a fire, you have no control."

Osborn was present when a Manteca home burned to the ground in 1995 with an armed man inside. Last year in Modesto, there was a similar fire when a man being evicted shot and killed a deputy and a locksmith. Despite the fires, both of those men died by gunfire.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said Wednesday that his deputies shot pyrotechnic tear gas into the cabin and it erupted in flames. He did not say directly that the tear gas started the blaze and the cause of the fire remained unclear.

McMahon said the tactic was intended to drive Dorner out, but it was not their intention to set the cabin on fire.

A body believed to be Dorner was discovered in the ashes of the cabin, but McMahon said authorities have not positively identified the remains.

By Tim Daly, tdaly@news10.net 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

News10/KXTV and The Associated Press

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