Authorities investigate string of suspicious fires

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY -- A string of three fires that ignited within the same block, within the same week are being investigated by the fire department as arson. 

Arson investigators say the first fire was set early Saturday morning on June 17 around 2:00 a.m. When fire responders arrived on scene they found a 2002 Dodge Neon in the driveway on fire. The damage was estimated more than half the car's value. 48 hours later, just after midnight, firefighters were called to a home three doors down from the first fire. When they arrived, they found a futon-style bed in flames against the outside of the house. An 86-year-old woman lived at the home but she was able to escape with the help from neighbors. The fire caused more than $40,000 in damage and spread into the attic. Investigator determined the fire was intentionally set but could not find out who was responsible.

After the second fire, Tampa Police increased patrol of the area and told others to be on the lookout for anything suspicious. 

The third fire was started on June 23 around 2:00 a.m. just down the block from the other homes. The arsonist(s) set fire to a trash can that was near the front porch at the northwest corner of the home. The home suffered minor damage. The home was believed to be vacant at the time of the fire. Fire officials were not able to find anyone responsible. 

Anyone with information involving these fires is asked to call the fire marshall's office at (813) 274-7000.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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