Five fires in Jamestown ruled as arson

Posted at 11:21 PM, Mar 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-25 23:21:05-04

Fire officials say six structures have caught fire within the past two days in Jamestown. Five of those, which happened overnight Friday, have been ruled as arson.

Piles of burnt wood, broken windows, and white tarps are just some of the memories laying on five different lots around Jamestown, and one of them right next door to David Nobbs, who's lived in his Crossman Street home for 15 years.

"The upstairs neighbor was pounding on our door saying 'you better get out there's a fire next door'," recalled Nobbs. "And I look out my dining room window and its fully engulfed. Flames coming out of every window!"

The fire on the 220 Crossman Street property, which happened right after midnight, was one of the five ruled as arson, according to Jamestown Battalion Chief Andrew Finson.

"It's taxing on our resources," said Chief Finson. "It's not safe for the community, we definitely don't like to see these many fires at one time. It's hard to stay on top of them all."

That's also a concerning thought for Patricia and Ashley Gray who live on 11th Street and saw three fires unfold during the early hours of Saturday. Two across the street from them; one at a vacant house on 22 West 11th Street, and another next door at 30 West 11th Street. The third, just behind their home on 33 West 10th Street.

"It scared me because you've got houses on both sides, you gotta worry about them," said Patricia Gray.

"Hearing all the fire trucks and waking up and seeing all the lights, it did scare me quite a bit," said Ashley, Patricia's daughter.

According to Chief Finson, four of the fires took place in vacant structures, while the other one damaged a garage. While nobody was hurt, neighbors are keeping their eyes open.

"I'm worried about the vacant houses on either side of us, tracking such people," said Nobbs.

"I do have a child that lives in the home with me," said Ashley. "I don't want to lose my home!"

Finson says it's unusual to have this many fires, which prompted them to call extra fire crews to the scenes.

"They were burning really good and we were very short staffed," said Chief Finson. "Luckily, we had off duty crews come in. A lot of people came in to help out so it was really good. We really needed it... our guys were getting really tired."

He added that one firefighter had a minor hand injury and is recovering from it. 

He also said all the fires were put out by 5 o'clock Saturday morning. The cause of each fire is still under investigation.