DAVIS (CBS / AP) — Police in a university town near Sacramento are calling on federal authorities to help investigate an attempted arson that they say appears to have been intended to maim and kill people in and around an off-campus fraternity house.

Davis Police Assistant Chief Darren Pytel says Kappa Sigma fraternity members at the University of California Davis detected the strong odor of natural gas at about 1 a.m. Sunday along with evidence that someone had tried to light the fumes. Pytel says someone appeared to be trying to cause an explosion.

The fraternity house is in a neighborhood densely packed with multi-family apartments.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Davis police have contacted the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and are working with the university fire and police departments.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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