Suspicious Fires in Washington and California

November 6, 2009

Two more fires burned businesses early Thursday in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood.

Fire Department spokeswoman Dana Vander Houwen says a fire at 3:43 a.m. burned the back porch of an accounting office. A fire a 4:11 a.m. burned the exterior of the Rosewood Guitar business.

Vander Houwen says investigators will be looking for the causes of the fires and whether they are related to an unsolved arson fire on Oct. 23 in the same neighborhood. That fire destroyed four restaurants and caused $2 million damage.

Vander Houwen says firefighters also were busy early Thursday responsing to a basement fire at a home in West Seattle.

No injuries occurred in any of the fires.

In California, police and fire investigators are looking for an arsonist after 11 vehicles were destroyed in a series of early morning fires in Richmond and El Sobrante.

Authorities say Richmond and Contra Costa County firefighters responded to six fires in less than three hours Wednesday morning.

In the first fire reported around 2:45 a.m., Richmond police say four cars were destroyed in an apartment complex parking lot.

By the time the last blaze was reported at 5:30 a.m., another seven cars had been destroyed in five additional fires.

Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan says investigators believe the fires are all linked.

Gagan says police have a vague description from a witness of a man walking from the last fire.

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