Fresno neighbors fear a firebug will strike again

FRESNO, Calif.

The first fire broke out Saturday evening, on Platt near Willow. A second fire broke out Sunday afternoon, just about five houses down the block. Now, both houses sit charred and empty and neighbors are scared. "Two houses in two days. You wonder what's going to happen next," said neighbor Mary Wright.

Wright lives next door to the first house that burned. It has been vacant since mid-February. Shortly after the residents moved out, neighbors started to notice trouble going in. "An empty house is an opportunity for people, kids, things to happen. If no eyes are on it, there are no eyes to see so that always creates an opportunity," said neighbor Leonard Ramos.

Neighbors said they saw teens leaving the area around the time both fires broke out. Fresno's Interim Fire Chief Michael Despain told Action News investigators are following up on several leads and some of those involve teens. At this point, the cause of the fire remains undetermined. "Anytime we have a time in a vacant building, it's going to be suspicious. Because it's a very narrow mechanism for fire to start without some human intervention," said Despain.

While they investigate, neighbors remain on edge. "If they're not caught somebody's going to get hurt. It only stands to reason you can only set so many fires before damage is done to some people," said Wright.

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