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Police Take Over Stag Hotel Fire Investigation

Few new details released about the devastating blaze.

 that left dozens of Stag Hotel residents homeless has shifted from the Watsonville Fire Department to police officers, the fire chief said Wednesday.

"We're transitioning the investigation to the PD," Fire Chief Mark Bisbee said.

Bisbee was mum about any progress on the investigation, including what sparked the April 30 fire in the historic residential hotel near downtown.

Police detectives will handle the case moving forward. That decision was made "just because of how the whole thing looks," Bisbee said.

Generally speaking, police are involved in a fire probe when there is a criminal element to the investigation, Bisbee explained. He declined to elaborate about specifics regarding the Stag Hotel fire.

 in a front corner of the hotel, on East Beach Street. Many residents, some with disabling medical issues, had to evacuate the hotel. People jumped from second-story windows to escape; nearly 20 people were hurt, a few seriously.

For all of Patch's Stag Hotel fire coverage, click HERE.

Editor's Note: More information is coming. The Watsonville Police Department will hold a press conference about the fire investigation Thursday.

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