Police investigating string of suspicious car fires in East Bay

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Neighbors are concerned and police are on the hunt for a possible fire bug after a rash of suspicious car fires in the East Bay.

The latest car fires were Wednesday morning -- one in Walnut Creek and the other nearby in Lafayette. There was another one on Monday in Martinez, all dangerously close to homes.

The owners of a suburban were asleep inside their Lafayette home on Padre Street when they heard and smelled something suspicious.

"My wife woke up and heard kind of a pop and then we had this strange smell and then a car took off that way from around the corner," fire victim Pat McCormick said.

They looked outside to see their SUV was on fire. "And we hadn't driven it since 2 o'clock in the afternoon and they told us last night that it was set," he said.

Firefighters then told them they had just put out another car 15 minutes earlier and only two miles away from his home.

"It's pretty strange, yeah," McCormick said.

The first fire was in Walnut Creek on Leroy Lane and they weren't the only car fires this week in the county.

Another car fire was in a driveway on Fraga Court in Martinez on Monday at 3:45 a.m.

Firefighters have kept all these fires from spreading to homes and no one has been hurt. They are investigating whether they are all related.

One woman who lives near the two fires that happened Wednesday morning said she is feeling a bit nervous. "We have a car in our driveway too and it's like hmm, maybe we will try to clean out the garage a little bit so we can get it inside because, you know, how do you stop someone from doing something like that," Melinda Teutschel said.

Firefighters haven't made any arrests and don't have any leads.

The owner at the home in Lafayette is shrugging all of this off, saying his car is insured and that he doesn't think he was targeted. He's glad no one was hurt.
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