PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Investigators believe a serial arsonist is involved in a string of fires that occurred throughout Portland’s east side on Wednesday morning.
“We really need to get to the bottom of this one in a hurry before something bad happens,” said Lt. Jason Andersen with Portland Fire & Rescue.
The series of suspicious fires began in the Kerns Neighborhood of Northeast Portland at the corner of 28th and Sandy Blvd around 3 a.m., authorities say. From there, approximately 17 fires were ignited in many other neighborhoods as the suspected arsonist moved south, and it all ended with a fire in the Hosford-Abernathy Neighborhood at just after 7 a.m., according to officials.
“While these may have been small, to have (17) of them, that high-risk behavior is something that is very concerning for us,” Andersen said.
The Portland Fire & Rescue Fire/Arson Investigations Unit, along with their Accelerant Detection Canine Team responded immediately and began investigating this string of fires.
PF&R is encouraging the public check their home or business security systems if they’re in an area near one of the fires as depicted in the map above.
From nearly $20,000 of damage at a commercial building to a dumpster fire just feet away from apartment windows, Andersen says luckily, no one was injured.
But with the fire starter still at large, investigators are asking for any information or security video related to the potential suspect.
“This (suspect) is not known to us at this point. And typically, we do like to keep a lot of information very close to us for the integrity of the case, but we have to outweigh the risk to the public with sometimes our case integrity,” he said.
Anyone with information about the fires should call Andersen at 503-823-3787.