Fire investigators are trying to determine whether an arsonist is on the loose in southeast Portland.
This morning at 5:45 a.m. a resident of an apartment building at Southeast 97th Avenue and Steele Street said she called 911 after waking up to her car alarm going off, and then discovering that her vehicle was on fire.
When firefighters arrived, they found a Jeep fully engulfed in flames. As they worked quickly to put out the fire, a neighbor approached the crew and said someone had poured gasoline all around their home and property.
Gina Gardipe, the grandmother of the children who live in the home a short distance from apartment complex, said she had come to pick up her son-in-law at 5:30 a.m. That's when she saw an unfamiliar truck parked in front of the home, pulling away.
Gina said she parked her vehicle, and as she walked up to the front door, she smelled a strong, familiar stench. On the porch she found a draped sheet, soaked with gasoline.
The family living in the home, which includes a several children, evacuated as fire investigators seized the evidence and processed the scene.
A large gas can was found by a fence at the apartment complex, and several tools were found nearby a work truck at the neighboring home. At least one of the truck's tires was flattened.
The neighbors all say they have no clue who might be responsible for the fire or the gasoline-soaked sheet, and none believe they were being targeted by anyone.
Firefighters told FOX 12 that the gas-covered sheet is connected to the Jeep fire and investigators believe someone may have torched it on purpose.
No one was hurt during either incident.
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