Arsonist targets the Pinedale neighborhood in North Fresno

April 7, 2013 12:56:20 AM PDT
Fire investigators are working to track down an arsonist. They say more than a dozen fires have been set in one neighborhood. And the fires are getting more dangerous.

The string of dangerous arson fires began Tuesday night, in the Pinedale neighborhood of North Fresno.

The Fresno Fire Department says an abandoned home is the boldest and one of the most dangerous fires set by this arsonist. But it wasn't the only big fire Friday night. Now neighbors are worried if this continues, someone could get killed.

A forty foot dumpster burned behind a carpet store in the Pinedale neighborhood of North Fresno late Friday night.

Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Chuck Tobias said, "We do know we have an active arsonist working in the Pinedale area right now."

Tobias says the dumpster fire is part of a string of fires intentionally set within a quarter square mile. This one especially dangerous since it burned near a business, larges trees and several homes.

"The arsonist that's working over in that area has been extremely busy over the last 4-5 days," said Tobias. "So we're trying to step up our effort to see if we can put an end to that reign."

Just a block away, a vacant home also went up in flames Friday night. Fire fighters say fortunately no one was inside. But the burned out house leaves neighbors worried. If the arsonist isn't stopped, they fear things could turn out differently next time.

"How do they know somebody's not sleeping in that house and can get killed," said Roslyn Hood. "To me it's unfair."

Fresno fire says the fires started last Tuesday.

"We had five separate calls that we had an engine respond out there," said Tobias. "While they were out there we have 12 separate fires in plastic garbage containers. They were extremely active, that span lasted a few hours in the evening."

No one has been hurt in the fires. And no one has been arrested.

"I hope they catch 'em," said Hood. "I really do, because I just, I don't understand people, destroying property."

The fire department says its investigators have a few leads they're working right now with Fresno police investigators to find the arsonist. They say if you see anything suspicious to call 911 immediately.


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