3 fires, many questions - FOX 13 News

3 fires, many questions

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Photo courtesy TFR. Photo courtesy TFR.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A neighborhood in the Tampa Heights area is on edge after an arsonist went on a rampage Monday morning, lighting three homes on fire.

They happened within minutes of each other in successive blocks:

  • 5:47 a.m.: 3809 North Highland Avenue - vacant home destroyed 
  • 6:27 a.m.: 3810 North Tampa Street - minor damage to vacant home 
  • 6:29 a.m.: 3802 North Arlington Avenue - minor damage to vacant home

They all sit within two blocks of each other and were all set on fire in less than an hour.

Investigators confirm that the three unoccupied houses in Tampa Heights set on fire early Monday morning were arson.

"We have three vacant homes, thankfully no one was living in any of the homes. so we're not dealing with any injuries. But we do have arsonist who has set three fires in the span of one hour, so we do have a very active investigation," said Tampa Police Spokesperson Laura McElroy.

Fire officials got the call to a house on fire on North Highland just before 6 a.m.

While firefighters worked to put out that blaze, they noticed a house on fire on North Tampa at about 6:30 a.m.

And it was at that point that firefighters saw another house on fire, this time on Arlington.

Whoever is behind these blazes is still on the loose.

Some who live in the neighborhood aren't concerned.

"I've never seen anything like it living in the neighborhood, we love the neighborhood so I'm not worried," said neighbor Amanda Adriani.

While others say they'll worry until police catch whoever's responsible.

"For our neighborhood to have to go through something like this and it scares you," said neighbor Lona Sulser.

"I sure hope it doesn't happen tomorrow night," said neighbor Philip Lancaster.

Greg Bowdler recently moved into his house on North Highland and lives right across from the one home that was destroyed.

He says the fire certainly got his attention.

"It's a bit scary to think of what could have happened if it was my house instead," said Bowdler.

Tampa police say they believe they'll soon find whoever started all the fires but until then will add extra patrols in the neighborhood.

While worried, Bowdler says that fact alone will help him get to sleep tonight.

"It makes me feel better to know that they're going to be looking around and making sure that things are a little more safer," Bowdler said.

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