Firefighters One Step Behind An Arsonist

Thursday, April 12th 2007, 6:21 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa firefighters remain busy putting out more fires Thursday morning just a few blocks from the scene of a series of suspicious apartment fires on Wednesday morning. Tulsa Fire officials say they now believe the same person who set several apartments on fire Wednesday in the Barcelona Apartment complex may also be responsible for two more fires overnight and another fire Thursday morning near 54th and Vandalia.

The overnight fires were at nearby LaFortune Park and a vehicle fire at the Village Inn at 52nd and Yale. This latest fire at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday was in the 5400 Apartment complex. Tulsa Fire Captain Larry Bowles says a small fire was discovered in a vacant apartment and was quickly put out by firefighters.

No one has been hurt in any of the fires, but 12 people living in the Barcelona Apartment complex at 51st and Yale were displaced. Barcelona Apartment residents like John Easley say they have seen other small fires around the complex that they believe are suspicious. "We have a privacy fence between this complex and this building next door north of us. And about 3 in the morning, it was suddenly ablaze, and there's just nothing there that would cause it to catch fire unless somebody set it."

Tulsa Fire investigators are not sure at this point if all these fires are related or if some were set by copycats.

Captain Bowles says they are urging residents in the area of 51st and Yale to be the fire department’s eyes and ears and report any suspicious activity. Residents are also urged to call the Arson Hotline at 596-ARSN if they have any information about this latest rash of fires.

Related story:

4/11/2007 - Multiple Fires Damage Apartment Complex