Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 15, 2024
Phoenix Fire Department Probes Series of Suspicious Fires, Possible Serial Arson in LaveenSource: Google Street View

The quiet of Laveen has been shattered by a spate of fires, the most recent blaze engulfing a home at 67th Avenue and Baseline Road on May 13. This latest incident follows a pattern of fires targeting vacant properties in the area, igniting community fears and sparking a comprehensive investigation by the Phoenix Fire Department into a potential serial arsonist at work.

Residents have been on high alert since the series of fires began, "It's kind of sad to see that go and burn down," Brett Wescott, a local, told FOX 10 Phoenix. Reflecting on the unsettling frequency of the fires, he added, "You could say one is too many fires, but if there's four in two weeks, and three in a week, that's not safe." The recent rise in fire incidents has not gone unnoticed on social media, where residents, like Brett and his wife Marcy, have followed the troubling developments closely.

In response to the escalating situation, Phoenix Fire Department's Captain Rob McDade pointed out the pattern of the blazes, “Our job is to say, ‘how did these fires start? Are they connected?’" he remarked in a statement obtained by Crazy Runner. The fires have all occurred within a geographical cluster, raising suspicions of a common culprit. The locations at 40th Avenue and Southern Avenue, 67th Avenue and Baseline Road, 51st Avenue and Roeser Road, and, 59th Avenue and Dobbins Avenue, all feature properties that have been abandoned – a fact that has not escaped McDade's notice.

Amidst fears and uncertainties, Captain McDade urged property owners to maintain their vacant buildings, citing both community and firefighter safety. "It would be a dereliction of duty for us if we didn't at least look into (if they) are related and that - for us - would mean if there is a serial arsonist, (it's) our job to make sure we catch them. We don't know that right now, but we certainly need to make sure there isn't," he told, FOX 10 Phoenix. As the investigation proceeds, the Phoenix Fire Department continues its appeal for vigilance from the Laveen residents.