The first fire happened on Saturday evening, March 25. From the start, neighbors suspected teenagers who were seen running from the home. The next day their concern turned to fear as another house just down the road also caught fire. "There has been a little uneasiness in the neighborhood, people watching more," said neighbor Leonard Ramos.
Both homes were vacant and no one was hurt. But ever since the fires, neighbors have been on heightened alert. "Two blocks away there's another vacant house and I was wondering the other day when I passed it, 'I hope that doesn't be set on fire.' It's scary," said neighbor Mary Wright.
Fresno fire investigators said good witness descriptions helped lead to the arrest. Though they believe several teens may have been hanging in and around the vacant homes, they were able to narrow their investigation down to just one. "I'm very confident we have a person responsible for a minimum of one of the fires and hopefully he'll be learning his lesson," said Don MacAlpine, Fresno's Deputy Fire Marshal.
The 17-year-old suspect isn't being identified because he is a juvenile. At this point, he is facing a felony arson charge.