Fremont firefighters search for possible serial arsonist after 15 fires set since July

FEMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- Fifteen small fires have broken out in Fremont since July. They've been concentrated in the city's Warm Springs District. Most happened on the weekend and early in the morning.

The Fremont Fire Department says the situation is escalating as one of the most recent fires came very close to catching a home on fire. Fire and police are on the case. They want to stop this arsonist before someone gets hurt.

Cathy Nguyen was home alone last Friday afternoon when a neighbor started banging on her door.

"She said, 'Is anyone in your home?' I said, 'No just me.' She said, 'OK, because your house is on fire,'" said Fremont resident Cathy Nguyen.

Nguyen said they jumped into action and grabbed a garden hose.

"We just sprayed and then firefighters came and they were on the street and they were spraying in as we were spraying out," Nguyen said.
The fire spread from bushes along Warm Springs Boulevard onto the fence and into the trees in the Nguyen's backyard, the flames licking at the deck and patio.

It's one of 15 fires set by a serial arsonist in the Warm Springs neighborhood since mid July. The most recent one was this past Sunday.

"The fires have been similar in nature and they feel like they're fairly confident that it's been set by the same person and it's one person," said Fremont Fire Division Chief Diane Hendry.

Trees, bushes, trash cans and dumpsters have all been targeted. Most of the fires were set on the weekends between midnight and 5 a.m.
"They are getting larger and putting the community more at risk, which is why we really need to get to the bottom of it," Hendry said.

Hendry says neighbors should call 911 if they see or hear anything suspicious at night. The Nguyen family is on edge and hoping for an arrest.

"It scares me, but it also angers me how someone could do something like that. Everyone loves Fremont. We love Fremont. We've lived here all our lives," Nguyen said.

The charred cypress trees in Nguyen's backyard are a testament to that. They were planted 25 years ago when Cathy was born.
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