Arson Concerns on the Rise

Published 06/17 2014 11:47PM

Updated 06/17 2014 11:56PM

Fear is spreading through fresno neighborhoods as a suspected serial arsonist steps up their game.  They are lighting more fires by the day, putting folks' lives and property in jeopardy.

Investigators have been trying to catch the people responsible since May 1st.

People living in close proximity to the suspicious fires are not the ones being put in danger, it's everyone around the city.  If firefighters are working a fire in one part of town, it creates a domino effect to where fewer are available to respond to your emergency.

It's become an all too common theme, vacant homes and sheds mysteriously catching fire in southeast Fresno.
One occurred early Tuesday morning.  30 minutes later another blaze broke out.  Both of them happened in the area of Butler and Orange Aveunes.

"Well it's very concerning," said Fresno City Councilman Sal Quintero.
With a fire bug apparently on the loose, City Councilman Sal Quintero is calling in reinforcements to try and curtail the problems in his district.

"We're going to put the word out to the neighborhood watch folks to be more alert of what's going on in their neighborhoods, as well informing their neighbors and relatives," said Quintero.

These sporadic fires have become quite nerve-racking for young parents Chad Baker and Deserie Rodriguez.

"Because I don't want to be at my house and have a fire next to me because then I have to worry about getting them out," said Deserie Rodriguez.

Empty homes are not the only targets, it's commerical buildings as well.  Downtown, we've seen the old Del Monte packing shed burn, Ace tire shop on Ventura and Procter's Jewelers located on the Fulton Mall.
Intentional fires that create unnecessary work for firefighters and put a strain on the department's resources.

"Much like anything in life as we work things to their extreme it's going to have an effect," said Larry French of the Fresno Fire Dept.

Investigators have been told that a hispanic man in his 20s riding a bike may be responsible.  If you can help catch him or others, call Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP.  You do not have to give your name and could receive a reward of up to $1,000.

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