SOQUEL -- A cannabis cooperative was damaged early this morning after a Molotov cocktail was tossed through its front door.

Security cameras captured video of two young males -- their faces partially obscured by bandanas -- using a hammer to break the front window of the Capitola Healing Association and throwing the device inside around 2:15 a.m., said Brianna Kovach, who owns the business with her partner, Chris Morganelli.

When the device entered the business, it set off the motion detectors, causing all of the burglar alarms to go off at once.

Kovach and Morganelli, who live nearby, were contacted by the alarm company and rushed to the cooperative. They used a garden hose to put out the fire, then called 911.

A ladder truck and two engines responded to the scene after receiving a call about an unconfirmed structure fire, according to Owen Miller, battalion chief with Central Fire Protection District. But by the time they arrived, the fire had been mostly extinguished.

After viewing the video footage, he said it looked like the device "broke up instantaneously."

"It looked like one of the individuals may have had flame on him," he said, adding that the fire spread through the business and set aflame a seat cushion, part of the carpet and a nearby table.

Firefighters had to take down the ceiling and a wall to get at the hot spots caused by the blaze, but none of the surrounding businesses were damaged.


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Miller estimated damages at the cooperative at $50,000.

Lt. Amy Christey with the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office said deputies also responded to the scene and that deputies are still the investigating.

The business will be closed until further notice