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Arson fears triggered by outbreak of suspicious fires

January 10, 2014 10:54 am

SJ suspicious fires

A three-day outbreak of suspicious fires all within a mile of each other in San Jose have elevated concerns that a serial arsonist may be on the loose.

San Jose Fire Capt. Mike Van Elgort said arson and police investigators were searching the fire scenes for any connection between the blazes.

“Over the last three days, we’ve had a number of fires in a 5-to-6 block radius,” he said. “Many have been external fires that have extended into structures.”

Van Elgort said many of the fires have been “suspicious in origin” and have been reported between 2-5 a.m.

However, Van Elgort said, investigators have yet to identify a suspect.

In the latest outbreak, three fires were reported within an hour of each other early Thursday in a five-block radius near 24th St. and San Antonio.

Damage was minimal in all three, but local residents have been shaken by the outbreak.

“I was sleeping and someone in the street started yelling – ‘Your house is on fire!,” said Martha, whose home suffered minor damage in the early morning fire. “He (the arsonist) put my children at risk…. I don’t know what to think… I want the person behind bars.”

Here’s a list of the fires over the last three days.

  • 1/08/14 – Fire at 5:48 AM – Fire in church at 1230 E. San Antonio St. (Outbuilding behind church)
  • 1/09/14 – Fire at 2:09 AM – 3 Alarm house fire at S17th & East San Antonio
  • 1/09/14 – Fire at 210 S. 33rd – SJFD Tells Janine there was small fire – No Exact Address
  • 1/09/14 – Fire at 5:30 AM – Warehouse Fire at N28th & Julian – Police are unsure if related to other fires they believe to be.
  • 1/09/14 – Fire at 5075 E San Antonio Street – Someone set fire to a construction workers carpet outside of home.
  • 1/09/14 – Fire at 1165 Peach – Peach & 24th – Dry wall business – Manager says someone stuck flaming object on mail slot.
  • 1/10/14 – Fire at 4:02 AM – Fire at 101 S 24th St
  • 1/10/14 – Fire at 4:23 AM – Fire at 229 24th Street – No damage done to building
  • 1/10/14 – Fire at 4:31 AM – Fire at 202 28th St.