Neighbors on edge as search for arsonist comes up dry - FOX 13 News

Neighbors on edge as search for arsonist comes up dry

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TAMPA HEIGHTS (FOX 13) -

Tampa police say they've increased patrols in the Tampa Heights community after an arsonist's rampage, hoping to ensure neighbors that they're safe and sound.

They're not only trying to still catch the culprit, but they want to put nervous neighbors at ease. The arsonist lit three homes on fire all within minutes of each other in the early hours of Monday morning.

The homes were vacant and all within two blocks of each other. The first was set at a home on north Highland, another on north Tampa Street, and a third on Arlington.

No one was hurt, but police consider the person very dangerous. The homes in this area are very close together. Many of them are older and wood-framed, so it's always possible the fires could have spread if fire crews hadn't moved quickly.

"It's a bit scary to think of what could have happened if it was my house instead," said neighbor Greg Bowdler. "It makes me feel better to know that they're going to be looking around and making sure that things are a little safer."

Tampa police say that's what they want. They've been patrolling the area and will continue to watch it closely, in hopes of catching the person responsible.

Police say at least one person possibly witnessed the crime. They told police they thought they saw someone walking away quickly from the first home on Highland Street.

But they weren't able to get a good description, so right now, police still don't know exactly who they're looking for.

Previous Coverage:

-- 3 fires, many questions: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/20518224/2013/01/07/police-looking-for-arsonist-in-tampa

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