String of fires on Tulsa's northside has police looking for an arsonist


Friday, January 21st 2005, 5:44 am
By: News On 6


A string of fires on Tulsa's north side has police looking for an arsonist. Investigators say the fires all started within one hour of each other. And Tulsa Police think a serial arsonist is to blame because all the fires were in a one-mile radius.

6 in the Morning reporter Omar Villafranca says it was a busy night for Tulsa firefighters. Six fires were set late Thursday night and early Friday morning night and the targets kept getting bigger as the night went on.

The first call came in a little before midnight. Crews found a small city trash bin at Archer and Xanthus smoldering. That fire was quickly put out.

Then a few minutes later, crews were told a dumpster was on fire next to a church at Archer and Zunis. While the water hoses were still working on that fire, another call came in from several blocks away.

This time, a stack of cardboard boxes behind a grocery store at Archer and Lewis was in flames. And then the targets got bigger.

Crews answered a car fire call at Admiral and Birmingham. Emergency crews found a parked vehicle engulfed in flames. It’s a total loss. And fire crews work wasn't done.

Firefighters saw smoke coming from a nearby house at Admiral and Columbia. The building was vacant and as firefighters put out the flames, a man came up to them and said someone tried to set his house at 2700 East Admiral Court on fire. The flames didn't spread very far, but investigators say they could have.

Tulsa Fire investigator Mike Bailey: "Potential here is very high. Whoever is doing this is taking a chance with. So far one of the homes was occupied, with a handicapped man. That the attempted fire was set on and so the potential is very high."

No one was hurt in any of the fires and the search continues for suspect(s).