Arsonist targeting Wilmington neighborhood

January 5, 2008 4:12:06 PM PST
You can't blame the residents of Wilmington's Alban Park neighborhood for being afraid. There was another arson fire there Saturday morning... just the latest in a string of fires. The scene is the 600-block of Homestead Road in Wilmington.

"I'm scared. I want to go. I don't feel safe out here," said Cynthia Stafford.

Fear has gripped the neighborhood called Alban Park and for good reason. This is the second fire ignited by an arsonist in 48 hours. Investigators say the firebug has struck 6 times in the last 13 months.

Nicole Brown, one of the fire victims tells us, "I opened up my front door and had just enough time to run back in and wake up my kids and get them out of the house."

Brown and her children narrowly escaped the fire. Nicole happened to be awake around 6:30 Saturday morning when she smelled smoke. She lost everything, including new Christmas toys for her children.

Thursday morning children were once again carried out in the cold to escape an intentionally set fire. Six people were displaced because of the overnight blaze. Saturday morning another half dozen were left homeless, and then there were the 8 firefighters who received minor injuries after being forced to jump from the top floor of the burning building.

With the number of fire's escalating, investigators fear someone will get seriously hurt or killed at the hands of the arsonist, who is suspected of starting the fires in the rear garages and basements of the apartments in Alban Park.

Investigators say the arsonist is clearly targeting this neighborhood, and they need the public's help. "We need their eyes and ears. These people are out here and when they see people that aren't from the neighborhood or if they know something they need to come forward and tell us," said Allen Brown, deputy state fire marshal.

Anyone with information should call the state fire marshal's office at 1-800-TIP-3333. The information could lead to a reward.