Another fire breaks out in Heights area

November 17, 2009 2:09:32 PM PST
There's fear a serial arsonist may have struck again near the Heights. An abandoned home caught fire this morning, just a few streets away from where more than a dozen fires have been set in a couple of months.This fire happened just before 5am on Beall near West 15th. One neighbor says the flames were just feet away from spreading to his home.

The fire department says the cause is officially still under investigation. But arson investigators were at today's fire scene for at least five hours.

"My fear is that they're going to make a mistake and they're going to hurt somebody. But somebody's going to get killed," said Heights resident Denise Goehring.

The police tape and fire trucks have become an all too familiar site in the Heights. Today's fire was at what neighbors describe as an abandoned house garage.

"When I walked out the front door I could see the flames leaping above the house across the street from me, so it was rather intense," said Goehring. "They got it down really very fast, though. One block away is way too close."

Goehring snapped photos of the fire.

"I tried to zoom in as close as I could get without disturbing the firefighters," she said.

But they don't tell the story of who may have started this fire. Arson investigators said very little on the scene this morning, only referring us to higher ranking members of HFD. But neighbors tell us a house once stood in the empty part of this lot, and only the garage remained until it burned this morning.

"The structure there is a garage with a small apartment, and it's abandoned, and the whole thing was engulfed in flames and of some trees, very large trees as well," said resident Dan Rifenburgh.

Rifenburgh lives right next door and has heard about all the suspicious fires in his neighborhood in the past couple of months, empty or vacant buildings, suspiciously catching fire in the overnight hours, he just wasn't ready for it to happen so close to his family.

"You just never think it's going to strike you, but it did tonight," he said.

The arson team isn't ready to say yet whether or not if this fire is connected in any way to those other suspicious fires in this neighborhood.

No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters were in the Heights neighborhood just yesterday. A fire broke out at a home on Cortlandt. No one was hurt and the cause of the fire is still unknown at this time.

It's also not known if both or either of these fires are related to a string of arson fires that have plagued the Heights area over the past couple months.

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