The City Heights community was hit with two more suspicious fires overnight – one involving mattresses set ablaze and the other set in a dumpster, officials said.
The fires happened on the same block within about 30 minutes of one another, leading investigators to believe they were set intentionally.
In the first blaze, which happened just before 1 a.m. in the 5200 block of Landis Street, two mattresses were set on fire in an alleyway next to an apartment complex. Some residents evacuated their homes while crews tackled the flames.
At about 1:30 a.m., another fire was reported in a dumpster at 5252 Landis St.
Officials said both fires came very close to residents’ homes. They are both being investigated as cases of arson.
Fires like these have recently become a problem for City Heights residents who have seen strings of possible arson in their community over the past month.
In early March, four fires sparked overnight on Wightman Street and Rex Avenue, one involving a Christmas tree.
One week later, firefighters were very busy battling several fires in the area, including a pickup truck on fire in the 5100 block of Wightman Street. Crews said plants and debris caught on fire in the bed of that truck. That same morning, a small vegetation fire broke out on the side of a home on Knoxie Street, followed by a fire on Shiloh Road that damaged the window screen of one family’s home.
Days later, a suspicious fire was set in the bed of a pickup truck on Orange and Euclid avenues. A trailer attached to the truck was also damaged in that blaze.
Finally, on March 22, another fire started near a fence line in the 5200 block of Wightman Street just after 3:30 a.m., spreading to a nearby trailer. Fire officials confirmed that blaze was arson.
The City Heights area has endured about a dozen fires since the beginning of March. A map of those fires can be seen below. Investigators suspect the fires may be related and are continuing to investigate them as arson.
No suspects have been arrested in connection with the fires.
Metro-Arson Strike Team (MAST) officials said they're exhausting efforts to catch the suspect or suspects responsible for the fires. They said residents should report any and all suspicious activity in the community and clean up any debris near their homes that could easily catch fire.