Reward being offered to help nab arsonist

October 7, 2009 4:12:51 AM PDT
We're following the search for a serial arsonist in the Heights. Crime Stoppers has announced its offering a reward of up to $5,000 leading to an arrest. Investigators believe the same person is responsible for eight fires on the same block.The biggest concentration of cases is in the Heights, particularly in the area of Ashland and 10th Street, which is where most of the suspicious fires have burned.

Today, an 18-year-old who lives next door to a property that had repeatedly been set on fire spoke out for the first time.

"Please, so that everybody else won't get hurt and if you know anything at, all please (call)," said nearby resident Celina Quintanilla.

It was a home that was scorched on August 11. Since then, investigators say seven more fires have been set on the same block. The most recent was just yesterday when arson investigators say the arsonist tried to set fire to an occupied home. That fire failed to start but the implication is clear.

"Our arsonist is getting more bold with his fire setting," said Asst. Chief Inspector Allison Stein. "First he was setting them to vacant structures or sheds. Now he's setting them to occupied residents."

Investigators say that people's lives are now in danger. They are actively pursuing several leads but won't comment on possible motives for the fires. Fire investigators say so far, they have no suspects in this case.

If you have any information in regards to these cases, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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