The Los Gatos arson victim whose in less than three months in the upscale Vista Del Monte neighborhood said she fears for one of her children's lives.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jil Britt was visiting the property at 194 Vista Del Monte, reassessing the damages caused by the that gutted her garage. She was also working to place GPS tracking devices on everything owned by one of her children, whom she believes is a target.
The single mother of three, who's lived in the one-story house for the past two and a half years, said she has strong reason to believe arsonists are targeting one of her children. She wouldn't expand on those motives.
"We need to know where [the child] is at all times," Britt said. "It's crazy. It's not necessary. They [the arsonists] didn't have to come back and take everything."
Britt said the home still needed a couple of months of additional work to recover from the first fire and that it would have probably been this spring when she could have moved into the property.
But now, due to the second fire, it's not known how long she'll have to wait because all the initial repair work from the first inferno will have to be redone, she said.
"The whole house is ruined. It's down to studs. There are no ceilings, no walls, and no floors in places. The smoke damaged the house again. It hadn't been sheet rocked."
Britt said the first fire last fall started in her daughter's room. According to Dennis Johnsen, Santa Clara County Fire Department's Arson Unit chief, that blaze caused nearly $300,000 in damages and almost killed the family dog, which had been left inside the property in a small crate.
Britt said her dog had to be hospitalized for a week and had to live in an oxygen tent to survive.
"I have no idea," Britt responded, when asked who could possibly want to harm one of her children.
"We've lost everything. We had just put everything into the garage that we had saved from the first fire and now it's all gone," she lamented.
Britt said she had still not received an estimate of the damages caused by the second blaze.
A cleanup crew with the restoration company hired by the insurance company was finally let in the house Wednesday.
Britt expressed gratitude for the many neighbors and friends who have come to her aid over the past few months.
"Everyone has been very supportive," she said. "My neighbors have been wonderful. They all brought me dinner. I have very good friends."
A native of San Jose, Britt said she moved into the $1.5 million home in 2009. Britt said she had been staying at the after the first fire and is now renting an apartment at an undisclosed location.
Britt said she wasn't working at the time of the first fire and has been going to school full time. Her only consolation is that she graduated Tuesday with a degree in medical billing and coding.
"I just hope they catch who did it because somebody out there is pretty crazy," she said.
Two signs placed on trees outside the house alert the public that the second blaze was also caused by arson and offer a $10,000 reward to anyone with information about the crime.
If anyone has information or may have seen something suspicious in the area the evening of both fires, they are urged to call the Santa Clara County Fire Department's anonymous hotline at 1-888-341-4401.