Local firefighters from numerous departments converged on a structure fire near the corner of Collins Drive and M Street in Merced last Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29. The fire started inside a vacant two-story building that previously housed a Travis Credit Union branch located at 3180 M Street. The fire began before 1 p.m., with large plumes of black smoke becoming increasingly visible throughout Merced. As the building continued to burn, it would eventually result in the total loss of the property, with owners for the structure onsite looking on as the building was blackened.
In response to the inferno, firefighters from the City of Merced, Merced County, CAL Fire, and Livingston sent crews and equipment to the scene and worked in tandem for several hours to beat back the flames during the fire and in the following days to further secure the structure.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but the Merced Police Department reported that on December 1 they had identified William Glisan, age 26, and Larry Smiley Jr., age 43, as possible suspects in the fire. They were arrested and booked on charges of arson and conspiracy after being located by the detectives and the Merced Police Disruptive Area Response Team. The Merced Police Department is asking anyone with any information regarding the crime to contact Sergeant Solis at 209-385-4703 or by email at [email protected]