Authorities in Tacoma, Washington, are scrambling to find a suspect after 13 fires broke out in less than 24 hours, apparently targeting people’s homes. No injuries have been reported from the fires, but officials said the fires were all so close together that alarm bells were raised.
Beginning Tuesday night, the fires were all burning near residential areas in the northern Tacoma area, in some cases within minutes of each other. The first fire was reported shortly before 8 p.m., and the last a few minutes before 4 a.m. Wednesday, with the perpetrator appearing to be lunging at a dead body during the night.
A fire broke out in a parking lot. Three more explosions outside the business. In other cases, houses caught fire. Brad Harp, a homeowner who woke up at midnight on Wednesday morning to a fire burning through his stairs, recounted King 5 he thought he heard a muffled explosion just before that.
“You know, it’s sad to realize that someone tried to burn down your house with you in it,” he was quoted as saying, adding that he smelled a lighter liquid at scene.
In another case, a devastating fire destroyed many homes in the area, causing most of the roof to collapse.
“Unbelievable. It was a big fire,” said Jack Kelly, who frantically evacuated as he watched his neighbor’s house turn into a fireball. KOMO News.
Nearby, another fire broke out in the back door next to a teenager’s bedroom. And an hour and a half later, a garage caught fire about a mile away.
Police said they were still unsure if there was a person behind the fire or there could be a group of looters. Federal investigators have stepped in to help track down the perpetrators, with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joining the hunt.
Police have also added additional patrols throughout the area to watch for suspicious activity.
“This is a priority, not just for our department,” Tacoma Police Officer Wendy Haddow said in comments to local media. “This is a priority for the fire department. It’s a priority for our entire community. We don’t want someone to get hurt as a result of an arson that someone has set.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/tacomas-13-arson-attacks-in-less-than-24-hours-prompt-feds-to-join-search-for-marauding-firestarter?source=articles&via=rss 13 Tacoma arson attacks in less than 24 hours Reminding the Feds to Join the Search for Marafting Firestarter