Search intensifies in San Jose for serial arsonist

The search for a serial arsonist in the South Bay is intensifying after three more suspicious fires were set early Sunday morning.
January 12, 2014 5:32:05 PM PST
The search for an arsonist is intensifying in the South Bay as the community joins the effort. The fire department reports thirteen fires since Wednesday. Eleven of them have been determined to be arson.

The fire department has confirmed that there were three more arson fires set on Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, a fire station served as the meeting point for residents as they picked up sketches to distribute throughout several downtown neighborhoods.

One of Sunday morning's fires was at a mobile home behind a church at South 26th and East San Antonio Street. Crews were able to turn out that fire but there was damage to the structure.

Before that, just a few blocks away residents were able to put out a different fire on 24th Street.

The third one was several hours later in the morning.

On Sunday afternoon residents in these neighborhoods met with city councilmember Sam Liccardo to help raise awareness of these fires and encourage people to be on the lookout for what authorities are calling a serial arsonist.

"We want to make sure people clear out anything that's flammable from their front yards and we want to make sure everybody sees the sketch of the suspect, that they've got the 911 number and the hotline number for arson," Liccardo said. "And we want to make sure that everyone who needs a fire alarm or batteries can get a fire alarm or batteries, we can supply it."

"Go knock on doors and we're going to talk to people, person-to- person communication to see if anybody's seen anything suspicious and just raising awareness, if people have seen something they need to report it in," resident Jon Padilla said.

Police and arson investigators have released a sketch of the suspect. They say the man was spotted near a fire Saturday. It damaged the home of an elderly couple.

The sketch was put together using surveillance video from homes in the neighborhood.

The local fire union is also helping out. They're putting up a $10,000 reward for information that will lead to the suspect's arrest.


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