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Home Depot to pay $1.3 million for fire code violations found after arson

For release on May 20, 2024 

Johnene Stebbins  
Deputy District Attorney
Environmental Protection and
Workplace Safety Unit
(408) 792-2959
[email protected]

Home Depot to pay $1.3 million for fire code violations found after arson

Home Depot will pay more than $1.3 million to resolve a Santa Clara County District Attorney’s investigation into how the hardware giant’s numerous fire code violations contributed to a San Jose store burning to the ground after an arson.

The Office’s Bureau of Investigators began probing Home Depot stores within the county following a 2022 arson fire at the Blossom Hill location. Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives and San Jose Fire Department concluded that the store had numerous serious fire code violations that critically hampered firefighters and the saving of the structure.

For example, the Blossom Hill Home Depot’s automatic fire suppression water sprinkler system was disabled at the time of the five-alarm fire. Home Depot was notified it was not working – but the store did not fix it.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen thanked the BOI for its comprehensive and diligent work: “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 lit a fire in the Blossom Hill Home Depot store as he was trying to steal tools. The quickly spreading flames sent customers and employees running from the store. No water came from the disabled sprinkler system. Responding firefighters were blocked from the fire lane and fire department connections by high piles of pallets. The flames quickly enveloped and destroyed the entire 98,827-square-foot store, causing an estimated $17 million in inventory loss.

The Office assigned one of its sworn investigators to follow up on who was responsible for the non-working sprinkler system. The investigation showed Home Depot’s non-compliance with fire code regulations was not isolated to the single store. Between 2018 and 2023, the 13 other Home Depot stores across the county had been issued notices of violation under the fire code.

The arson case against Gogue is still pending.

In addition to $850,000 in civil penalties, Home Depot will provide $150,000 to a non-profit focusing on fire prevention and outreach in Santa Clara County. The San Jose Fire Department will recoup costs associated with the five-alarm fire, while all other county fire departments will receive costs associated with the investigation. Home Depot cooperated with the investigation, took action in curing all outstanding fire code violations at its stores in the county and implemented new training and tracking methods to ensure future compliance.


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