Sheriff: Cabin was not intentionally torched

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SAN DIEGO – The Seven Oaks cabin where fugitive Christopher Dorner was believed holed up Tuesday was not intentionally set on fire, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.

“We used a cold tear gas,” said McMahon. “Then, we used the next tear gas that was pyrotechnic. It does generate a lot of heat. We introduced those canisters into the residence and a fire erupted.”

Dorner cabin fireAn audio transmission provided some insight into the moments before the cabin went up in flames.

“We’re going to go forward with the plan – with the burn like we talked about,” a recording of a man’s voice said.

McMahon said he still can’t “absolutely, positively confirm” the remains found in the home are that of Dorner.

“Our coroners division is working on trying to confirm the identity through forensics,” said McMahon. “We should know that at some point here soon.”

As a precaution, the LAPD said about a dozen protective law enforcement units would remain in place for some people named in Dorner’s manifesto.

“Not knowing for certain that the person that was threatening your family is no longer around and the threat no longer exists,” said Lt. Neiman. “That’s a concern and so there are some families who are literally traumatized.”

A gun battle between law enforcement and a man believed to be Dorner erupted earlier Tuesday, before the fire started. The shooting left Deputy Jeremiah MacKay dead and Deputy Alex Collins wounded.

“This is truly another sad day for law enforcement,” said McMahon. He added that MacKay had been with the department for 15 years and left behind a wife and two young children.

As investigators wait for confirmation on the remains, LAPD officials said the Irvine murder investigation continues.

“There’s still much work to be done,” said LAPD Lt. Andrew Neiman. “We just don’t stop an investigation just because the suspected individual may no longer be available.”


  • erry

    looks like the cabin was intentionally burned. I am not saying htis should not have beein the outcome, however the police/sheriff's office should be honest, and not intentionally DIShonest with the public. Listen to the police –

  • ckaro4

    It is really sad how low our society and our media have fallen. Casting aspersions on the Sheriffs Department and how they handled this situation is intolerable. These deputies were in a gunfight with a known cop killer (and don't forget the engaged couple) that would rival many in Afghanistan. One of their own had just been killed and another wounded. Hundreds of rounds were being fired at them from inside the cabin. Cold tear gas didn't work, so they used the hot stuff. Does anyone really think that Dorner would have eventually come out of that cabin with his hands up and surrender? Absolutely not, and he said so. No one else had to die, and this piece of s@!t is in the morgue. Cops and other law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to save others from countess life threatening situations daily. I'm just thankful that there are people who are willing to do it. There are bad apples in EVERY profession, and law enforcement is no different (LAPD). However, the vast majority of them are good, hard working, selfless, husbands, wives, and parents, who choose to run into a gun fight to save others rather than running and hiding behind media vans like the weak-kneed journalists who are now running commentary like, "Did the San Bernardino Shieriffs Deparment intentionally set Dorner's cabin on fire?" (Fox San Diego news @ 10- 2/13) Sad, pathetic, and unfortunately a sign of the times.

  • les

    well if someone shot the man next to you would you be interested at all in taking him alive? he said he would not be taken alive…you are so wrong….

    • Jason

      No I would not have any interest in talking to him but we are in America and everyone is entitled to a fair trial. Thats another debate and I am not trying to argue. However I agree with Erry in the fact that they shouldnt lie about it.

  • Dorner

    I hope they realize we have the transcripts of the police scanner. it is obvious that the fire was intentional. we can clearly hear the officers saying they "deployed 7 burners, we got a good fire going now"

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