Video shows arson suspects starting New Year’s Day fire

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New video shows an alleged arson in progress. Now the Fresno Fire Department is asking for your help identifying the suspects.

It happened New Years Day at Romain Park on First and Thomas, and continues to impact the community.

Tony Escobedo with the Fresno Fire Department said this is a very busy park, and because of this fire it’s now partially closed. 

Fire investigators hope someone recognizes the people responsible. Video shows two people walking up to Porta Potties outside the Romain Neighborhood Center. 

They appear to go inside, then leave the scene. Shortly after the building is seen burning.

“(The Porta Potties) were right up next to the building, subsequently the fire spread to the building itself causing over $100,000 in damage,” Escobedo said. 

He said it’s not just a monetary hit, because it’s one of the busiest parks, it’s also a blow to the community. 

“It’s one of our central parks here in Fresno. It’s a visual impact on the kids. As a matter of fact I had a few come up to me and say ‘Hey, how long is it going to be like this?,’ and ‘Can we go in there?,'” Escobedo said. 

He said the Porta Potties were there in the first place because the bathrooms were already vandalized, now the park has no facilities for visitors, and a building for community activities sitting empty behind a chain linked fence. 

Arson investigators hope someone comes forward with information on the suspects, and are on the lookout for any similar activity. “Parks don’t open or stay open 24/7 if you see overnight activity that’s suspicious call the authorities let us know,” Escobedo said.

At this point officials are unsure when the building will reopen. 

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