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SJ Officials Say Sunday Morning Fires May Be Work Of Serial Arsonist

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Sketch of serial arsonist suspected in a string of fires in San Jose.

Sketch of serial arsonist suspected in a string of fires in San Jose.

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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Firefighters in San Jose are investigating two suspicious fires Sunday morning and believe they may have been set by a serial arsonist that has set fire to numerous buildings in the downtown area this week, a captain said.

The first fire was reported at about 1:55 a.m. in the first block of South 24th Street, fire Capt. Barry Ehlers said.

Ehlers said the fire was so small, by the time crews arrived on scene, the fire had already been put out by residents nearby.

A second suspicious fire was reported in the lot of a church in the area of South 26th and East San Antonio streets, not far from the first fire, at about 5 a.m., Ehlers said.

A trailer in the rear of the church was in flames. When crews arrived, they put the fire out within minutes, the captain said.

No one was injured in either blaze.

The two fires are “similar to prior arson fires in the downtown area,” according to Ehlers.

The possible arson blazes would bring the total to 12 in the downtown area since Wednesday.

Firefighters have previously offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arsonist’s arrest, and had released a sketch of the suspect.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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