Fires in Wilmington ruled arson

January 3, 2008 4:12:08 PM PST
There is a search for an arsonist, believed to be responsible for two fires in one Wilmington neighborhood.

Two fires were on the same block in Wilmington, Delaware, and forced eight families out of their homes on Thursday morning.

Eight people, including two small children, were forced from their homes by a fire on Homestead Road shortly after 2 Thursday morning and moments after rescuers arrived, another small fire was reported across the street.

Investigators were already looking into four other intentionally set fires that have occurred in the community called Alban Park over the last 13 months.

Investigators suspect a firebug is going into garages and basements. Thursday morning's fire was no different as a mattress found on the scene had been set on fire.

"I'm not surprised that it happens at all because of the fact that 99 percent of the basements out here are filled with debris and garbage," Martha Stoval of Wilmington said.

It took firefighters more than an hour-and-a-half to gain control of the blaze.

Everyone in the homes got out safely, but several children spent much of the night in cars.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Delware State Fire Marshals Office at (302) 323-5375 or 1-800-TIPS.