Roswell Fire Department investigators suspect arson in a recent spate of fires that have occurred along the 1400 block of South Mulberry Avenue. Fire Marshal Bill Wells said, “It’s no coincidence that we have had four structure fires in a one-block area between Wildy and East Forest streets in the past six weeks.”
Three of the four have been ruled as arson. In addition, there have been multiple small fires in the vicinity. “There has definitely been activity with dumpsters, and we are working on the assumption that someone is starting fires in the neighborhood.”
The most recent investigated by Fire Marshal Bill Wells happened on Feb. 19, when the RFD was called to a series of three fires, two dumpster fires and a structure fire, in a 36-hour period. The house fire burned with such intensity that the fire department pulled back and concentrated on protecting adjacent buildings and allowed the blaze to burn itself out. Wells said he had not given a final ruling. “There’s a possibility that the fire may have been an accident, since the men working in the building had been using the fireplace for heat,” he said. He would not say if the house fire was an accident.
A similar fire occurred in the 500 block of East Forest Street, Monday, when the Roswell Police Department received a report of a prowler. When officers arrived on the scene, they found a smoldering shed that had water leaking out from underneath the door. The fire was extinguished when the pvc water pipes melted and the subsequent water leak put out the blaze.
“None of the buildings have been occupied up until now, but there’s always a possibility that someone could be hurt in the future,” said Wells.
He noted that in the coldest months, squatters may inhabit vacant buildings.
Wells is asking people in the neighborhood to be alert and immediately report any suspicious activity to the police. In addition, he urges anyone who may have information to contact the RPD at 624-6770, fire investigators at 624-3830 or Crime Stoppers at 888-594-TIPS (8477). Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.