VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — Investigators are warning residents of a Vancouver neighborhood to keep their lights on tonight and move items indoors, after an arsonist set 15 different fires in the area over the last few days.
“This is ridiculous, why people would even consider this,” Roger Farrar told KOIN 6 News. “I don’t know where they get their kicks by.”
It was a close call for Farrar’s family, after an arsonist set his daughter’s garage on fire while she was home alone with her 6-month-old baby.
“This fire actually went up to the top of this and was actually shooting flames out the front,” Farrar said. “So you’re talking 5 feet from the house.”
The fire avoided the house, but destroyed the garage and everything inside of it.
Michael Hansen, who lives in the area, said he was watching a movie when he saw smoke coming from the street. When he went outside, he saw the garage on fire.
“The whole thing was on fire,” Hansen said. “It kind of makes me feel scared. Now people are setting fire to things and there’s an arsonist running around. It’s not good, I hope they catch him.”
Right behind the home another fire was set, damaging recycling cans and a truck.
On Saturday night, someone set 5 fires targeting U.S. and military flags. Then, 3 days later, another 10 fires were set, all in less than an hour.
“He went from flags to 10 in an hour,” Mary Mulcrone said. “I think he just got carried away.”
Mulcrone said people in her area are keeping up to date on the fires by using the free app Nextdoor.
Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said there are several steps you can take to protect your home against arsonists.
“Try to illuminate their carports and garages, their front porch, really make sure they clear their carports free of combustibles like newspapers and wood and any fuel you may have from lawnmowers,” Scarpelli said.
Police and fire officials are now offering a $10,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Vancouver Police Department Tip Line at 360.487.7399