CES: Arson cause of two recent fires

Central Emergency Services suspect arsonists are behind two recent fires lit within a mile and a half of each other less than 24 hours apart.

On Thursday afternoon, CES crews responded to a fire about 300 yards behind the KSRM Radio Group and Span Alaska Transportation buildings on Kalifornsky Beach Road. Investigation revealed an abandoned car was set on fire located on a dirt road between the two buildings, said CES Safety Officer Brad Nelson.

There were also several attempts to set brush and garbage on fire in the area, Nelson said.

"We got lucky on this one," he said. "It did catch some trees on fire and some of the area on fire once it got hot enough to dry some things out. ... Last week when we had that dry weather this would have been a disaster because it would have spread and spread fast."

Nelson said he suspected those who lit the fire Thursday were also responsible for a fire at a home at the corner of Mark Hall Road and K-Beach Road on Wednesday evening.

Crews arrived and found a burning mattress on the ground level of the two-story home. The mattress was extinguished and the damage to the building totaled $500. No one was injured in the blaze and the home is not currently in use. The property is owned by Virginia Hunter.

A witness reported two people, possibly a male and female, on a red four-wheeler at the building about 30 minutes before the fire, Nelson said.

There were no witnesses of the Thursday blaze, Nelson said.

Nelson said matches were used to light the mattress on fire, but investigation revealed flares were used in the second blaze.

"They are getting bolder and so far they've been successful twice so they are going to keep going until they get something big going," he said.

Those with information are encouraged to contact CES or the Alaska State Troopers.

"At this point we are just asking anybody if they see people in places they just don't belong, give a call," Nelson said. "If it turns out to be nothing, great."


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