East Bay family targeted by possible arson suspect twice in one week

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Police in the East Bay looking for a suspect who tried to set a family's home on fire, twice in one week.

Berkeley neighbors are fearful after a fire broke out late Thursday outside an apartment on Stanton Street, the charred entry is now off limits.

"There was an Uber driver, he saw it, banged on our door told us to come outside, I grabbed a small extinguisher, but it was something bigger," said neighbor Ashe Ashford.

A mother and son inside the apartment were trapped by the flames, they were rescued by firefighters.

"People were brought down off the balcony and evaluated by medics," said Berkeley Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Bill Kehoe.

Fire officials believe the fire was no accident, it was intentionally set.

"We did find rags that had flammable liquid on it," said Kehoe.

The Battalion Chief says witnesses reported seeing a man running away from the fire.

On Tuesday, officials say a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a window in the same apartment but likely missed.

Ashe's mom put the fire out.

"My mom came out, put the fire out with an extinguisher," he added.

Berkeley Police are investigating, they don't know why the family was targeted. Neighbors are now worried about their own safety.

"I hope somebody comes out and says something because that's somebody's life," said neighbor Jennifer Blanchard.
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