Serial arsonist wanted after string of fires in NE and SE Portland
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Portland Fire & Rescue is asking for help to find a serial arsonist who was active early Wednesday morning.
Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, a series of 10 ‘suspicious’ fires began, PF&R said. The fires began with a fire in the Kerns Neighborhood in northeast Portland and as the arsonist traveled south, ended with a fire in the Hosford-Abernathy neighborhood just after 7 a.m.
“Not shocking, but horrific,” a Portland resident said.
People who live on the eastside of Portland said it’s concerning to hear about a serial arsonist targeting their neighborhoods.
“It’s a little bit scary,” Arthur, who lives nearby said. “It does seem very random, in a way that I hope that it’s not a trend.”
Portland Fire & Rescue said the arsonist was active in northeast and southeast Portland early Wednesday morning.
Authorities said the person responsible was caught on camera at multiple locations, spanning several miles. They’re asking for peoples help to identify the suspect. In a couple of photos, the person can be seen standing in front of an actively burning trash can. Investigators also said the arsonist ignited several fires in cardboard boxes, and even started a blaze in a commercial building.
“You know, property is obviously going to be damaged, but people can be killed,” a Portland resident said. “You set a house on fire, and someone’s inside and can’t get out.”
The Fire Investigations Team said they believe the first fire was lit at around 3 a.m. beginning on the corner of Northeast Sandy Blvd. and 28th Avenue. Investigators said, from this location, the arsonist made their way south, and ignited a total of around 10 separate fires, ending the spree just after 7 a.m. near Southeast Mcloughlin and Holgate Blvd.
“I mean if someone is setting that many fires in a short period of time. Well, they’re an arsonist. They have a mental problem,” a Portland resident said.
“I think that accountability is absolutely called for in a situation like this. Putting people at risk,” Arthur said.
Authorities are asking people with security cameras to check their footage and contact Portland Fire & Rescue with any information.
PF&R provided photos of the potential suspect as well as a map of possible fires, and asks anyone with security cameras to cross reference the images. If anyone knows of a fire in the mapped area that the fire department did not respond to, or has information of the subject on video, they are asked to contact Lt. Jason Andersen at 503-823-3787.
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