Home Depot fined $1.3 million for fire code violations after arson incident

May 21, 2024

Home Depot to pay $1.3 million for fire code violations

Home Depot will pay over $1.3 million to resolve an investigation by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office into fire code violations found at a San Jose store that burned down after an arson attack.

As reported by the Country of Santa Clara Office of the District Attorney, the investigation began after a 2022 arson fire at the Blossom Hill Home Depot.

Investigators found that numerous fire code violations at the store hampered firefighting efforts and contributed to the store’s destruction.

Details of the investigation

The Blossom Hill Home Depot’s automatic fire suppression system was disabled at the time of the fire, despite prior notifications about the issue.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen said: “Fire code violations are potential tragedies in waiting.

“Ignoring them isn’t just risky; it’s reckless. It risks far more than property. It risks lives.”

On April 9, 2022, Dyllin Jaycruz Gogue set a fire while attempting to steal tools, causing the store to burn down.

The disabled sprinkler system and blocked fire lanes hindered firefighters’ efforts, resulting in the total destruction of the 98,827-square-foot store and a $17 million inventory loss.

Wider compliance issues

The investigation revealed that fire code violations were not isolated to the Blossom Hill location.

Between 2018 and 2023, 13 other Home Depot stores in Santa Clara County received notices of fire code violations.

The Office assigned an investigator to determine responsibility for the non-working sprinkler system.

The investigation confirmed widespread non-compliance with fire regulations across multiple stores.

Financial penalties and corrective actions

In addition to $850,000 in civil penalties, Home Depot will contribute $150,000 to a non-profit focused on fire prevention and outreach in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose Fire Department will recoup costs related to the fire, and other county fire departments will recover investigation costs.

Home Depot has cooperated with the investigation and has taken steps to address all outstanding fire code violations.

The company has also implemented new training and tracking methods to ensure future compliance.

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