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Arson officially blamed in string of East Side house fires

4 vacant homes set on fire within hours of each other

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police say arson is officially to blame for a series of fires set at four homes in an East Side neighborhood in late September.

Police investigators said all four homes near Dignowity Hill Park were vacant when they were set on fire on the night of Sept. 27 carrying into the early morning hours of Sept. 28.

The most damaging fire destroyed a house in the 900 block of Dawson Street that put firefighters in a dangerous situation: They had to back out of it and fight the fire from above, using a hose from a ladder truck.

Two others went up in flames in the 1400 block of E. Commerce Street and in the 200 block of S. Olive. The fire on Dawson Street was the third one within a matter of a few short hours.

Before firefighters had finished packing up their gear, they got a call about a fourth fire in the 1000 block of Montana Street.

All four homes were within one mile of each other. There were no reported injuries.

Investigating the fires

“All four of these appear to be very suspicious in nature,” said Chief Charles Hood at the time.

Hood said fire investigators would use K-9s to look for accelerants and would take statements from the neighbors, whom he said might be the ones who help them solve this case.

He said it was neighbors who smelled smoke and alerted firefighters to at least one of the fires, and he hopes everyone remains vigilant.

“If you smell something, say something,” Hood said. “If you see something unusual, say something and call 911.”

Crime Stoppers may pay up to $5,000 for information which leads to the arrest of whomever is responsible for the fires.

Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash, but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers, and that concern information not previously provided to, or known by law enforcement.  Tipsters who identify themselves are not eligible for rewards.

Crime Stoppers of San Antonio utilizes P3 Tips. Download P3 in the App Store or Google Play.

Call Crime Stoppers at 210-224-STOP (210-224-7867) or visit www.sacrimestoppers.com.

WATCH: Listen to what residents living nearby had to say about the fires