Arsonist targets several cars in the same neighborhood

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Dana Hughey bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Some East Texas families got a rude awakening Sunday morning when someone set their cars on fire.  It all started around 4:30 a.m. when firefighters were called out to the 6100 Block of Plantation Drive in Tyler.  From there, firefighters say they responded to car fires at four other locations in the same neighborhood.  In the end, seven cars suffered fire damage.  Fire investigators are calling it one of the most unusual cases of car fires they've ever seen.

"We've had a meeting just to try to come up with a motive as to why," said Tyler fire investigator Paul Findley.  The owners of two cars on Plantation Dr. are asking themselves just that.

"About 4:30 this morning, we got a knock on the door from a firemen, and he said there was a full fire here," said the car's owner John.  "He asked where the fire was.  Our response basically was, what fire?  We had no idea."  John and Alisha quickly learned John's car was on fire and the flames had spread to their garage.

"I'm not so much worried about the cars, but we had just moved in a few weeks ago and except for the bulky items, most of our stuff was in boxes in the garage," said John.  In a matter of one hour, fire investigators say four cars were set on fire, three others suffered damage.  And because they are so close together, investigators believe the same arsonist is responsible.

"As far as the property owners, we have not been able to determine any type of link," said Findley.  "You know, are they related, do they work together, or anything like that, so at this point it looks random."  John and Alisha have no idea why their cars were targeted, but say they're thankful firefighters were there to prevent the flames from spreading to the rest of their house.

"We'll get a rental car and let the insurance company to its work," said John.  Fire investigators say they're still trying to determine how the cars were set on fire, but they do know, the arsonist was able to get inside some of the vehicles.

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