Arson suspected in weekend fires
Posted: Monday, January 31, 2011 9:04 pm
Union City police are investigating at least three suspicious fires that occurred over the weekend.
The arsons Saturday night include two structures on North Morgan Street and a vehicle on North Home Street, according to Union City Police Department reports.
The first incident was reported by police at 9:36 p.m. when an officer was dispatched to a vehicle fire at 205 North Home St., where the fire to Jared Hamlin’s car had already been extinguished by people at the scene.
Just a minute later at 9:37 p.m., the Union City Fire Department was dispatched to a shed fire at 314 North Morgan St. and firefighters arrived to find both the shed and a neighboring house at 318 North Morgan St. on fire.
For the time being, police left the car fire scene to respond to the two structure fires, located near the former Central Elementary School building. Police reported officers arrived on North Morgan Street to find both the house and the neighboring shed engulfed in flames.
The Rives and Martin fire departments responded mutual aid to assist Union City firefighters in controlling the two blazes. Because of the danger of collapse, an aerial platform truck finished extinguishing the blaze and knocked down a standing chimney at 318 North Morgan St.
Firefighters remained on the scene until about 1:45 a.m. Sunday and reported police were called to begin a criminal investigation.
The fire department reported the house at 318 North Morgan St. was owned by Century 21 Real Estate/Connie Fry of Union City, while the home at 314 North Morgan is owned by Pam Wisdom.
Ms. Wisdom told police the house at 318 North Morgan St. was vacant due to a previous fire that occurred in August 2010. It was destroyed, according to the police report.
Police said a room on the west side of Ms. Wisdom’s home was also damaged by fire from the shed.
In the aftermath of the structure fires, a police officer returned to the scene of the car fire on North Home Street. Police were told that someone was leaving the house about 9:20 p.m. and came back inside stating Hamlin’s car was on fire. Two friends who were there told police they found something had caught fire to the back seat of the 1997 Chrysler Sebring and they extinguished it with water.
Anyone who has information about any of the suspicious fires is asked to contact the Union City Police Department at 885-1515 or Crime Stoppers at 885-TIPS (8477). Callers to Crime Stoppers are guaranteed anonymity and could earn rewards for tips that solve cases.
Published in The Messenger 1.31.11