SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a man charged with setting a fire that gutted a Northern California Home Depot, prompted hundreds to flee and filled the sky with smoke was trying to cover up a theft of tools.
Dyllin Gogue of San Jose has been charged with aggravated arson and theft.
He appeared in court Tuesday but didn't enter a plea to charges that could carry a potential life sentence.
Santa Clara County prosecutors accuse Gogue of setting the April 9 blaze that caused an estimated $17 million in losses.
The district attorney said the store was crowded with weekend shoppers, and he was thankful nobody was injured or killed.
According to the San Jose Fire Department, the five-alarm blaze took about six hours to contain.
According to the National Weather Service, the fire was so intense that its heat signature was captured by a satellite in space.