Fire chief: Serial arsonists could be behind 21 blazes in Fresno

Fresno fire chief says serial arsonists could be responsible for 21 fires set since May

Serial arsonists may have started nearly two dozen building fires across Fresno since May, Fire Department officials said this week.

Following a department budget meeting Tuesday, Fresno Fire Department Chief Kerri Donis told the Fresno Bee investigators are looking into 21 fires that have broken out since last month.

"Some show some common denominators, others not so much," Donis told the newspaper. "We think we have several central arsonists in three or four different areas. We are monitoring that very closely and we have some things in place that may happen next."

A fire on May 17 burned down a third of an abandoned building in downtown Fresno and another blaze on May 29 burned an old tire shop, the Bee reported.

There were also two fires set at a local mall overnight on June 2 and a third fire started on the other side of town the same night. In one of the incidents, investigators found a gas line cut and left in the “on” position. The building's sprinklers, though, kept the fire from spreading, the Bee reported. 

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