San Jose Fire Department Offers Reward To Find Serial Arsonist

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose arson investigators went door to door Friday looking for information that might reveal who set a series of suspicious trash fires that threatened several apartment buildings in recent weeks.

At least four fires have been intentionally set in trash and recycling bins outside apartment buildings in the Oak Grove neighborhood. The most recent fire happened on Tuesday, said Captain Christopher Murphy of the San Jose Fire Department’s Arson Unit.

“These fires have become more brazen, and we don’t want to wait until the next one to act. So we’re going to try to be proactive here,” he said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The fires set on June 19 and June 26 mostly involved trash cans already near the building. Murphy said in one especially disturbing case, the trash receptacle was moved up next to the building, apparently by whoever set it ablaze.

“We have evidence to suggest that somebody physically moved a container and set it up against the house before setting it on fire, and that’s clearly intentional,” he said.

Murphy said no one has been injured in the fires, but in each case the buildings had to be evacuated.

Some residents suspect the culprits are children with too much free time on summer break who are still too young to realize the potentially deadly consequences of their actions.

A $1,000 reward is being offered in the case, half of it supplied by donations from San Jose firefighters. Anyone with information connected with the fires is asked to contact Murphy at (408) 930-5491 or to leave an anonymous tip at (408) 272-7766.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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