PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Investigators from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department determined the fire that destroyed a Newberg business on April 10 was arson and believe the suspect who started it died in the fire. 

The fire at the DCI International Building was discovered shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday, April 10. A man called 911 saying he was at the garden center of Fred Meyer in Newberg and was having a medical issue. Police and emergency medical personnel responded. 

In the phone call, the man told the call taker he was going to start a fire. 

When officers arrived at Fred Meyer, they didn’t find the caller. Instead, they saw smoke coming from the building across the road. It was the DCI building, a family-owned dental equipment business. 

Police called for fire personnel and tried searching for the man who made the call. 

The fire quickly engulfed the building and first responders couldn’t get inside to search. No one could enter the building for several days due to the hazards created by the fire. 

Investigators determined the name given by the suspicious caller was an alias for a wanted man named Ricardo Garcia. Police traced him to the PNMC and the YCAP shelter in Newberg where he’d made recent appearances. Police used video footage from the shelter of Garcia and noticed he resembled a man who was near the DCI building prior to the fire. 

This made Garcia a person of interest in the case. 

On April 18, investigators found a man dead in the rubble of the burned building. Using medical records and contact with family, they determined the man was Garcia. He died of smoke inhalation. 

“This case can only be summarized as an unfortunate tragedy, stemming from the underlying behavioral health issues affecting so many Oregonians every day.  Our thoughts go out to the family of Mr. Garcia and to all the people negatively impacted at the DCI company,” the police department wrote in a statement.

Police do not know why Garcia set the building on fire. They believe that while experiencing a mental health crisis, Garcia may have thought he was at the Fred Meyer.