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  • DC area-Serial Arsons

    WASHINGTON (AP) - A sixth fire was linked conclusively Tuesday
    to a serial arsonist operating in and around the nation's capital,
    and officials said they have expanded the list of suspicious fires
    that might be connected.
    Investigators are looking at 24 blazes - 14 in Washington and 10
    in neighboring Prince George's County, Md. The fires began March 5
    and have killed an elderly woman and injured seven people.
    The fires were set late at night in residential dwellings and
    involved some form of liquid accelerant to fuel the blaze. The
    latest conclusively linked to the arsonist, in which nobody was
    hurt, occurred June 20 at a home in Chapel Oaks, Md. Two other
    fires were added Tuesday to the list of suspicious fires.
    "It remains a possibility that other fires that are similar in
    nature will be on that list," Ronald Blackwell, chief of the
    Prince George's County Fire and Emergency Medical Services
    Department, said at a news conference in suburban Largo, Md.
    The blazes have residents on edge in a large area of the capital
    region, which spent three nerve-racking weeks last October as
    police sought snipers killing at random. Two men are charged with
    20 apparently random shootings, in which 13 people died.
    Betty Adams, who lives the area of Washington where seven
    suspicious fires occurred, said Tuesday she is "frightened to
    death."
    "I don't sleep at night much because you just never know where
    he or she is going to strike next," Adams said.
    Officials had town meetings Monday and Tuesday nights to share
    information about the investigation and pass out fire prevention
    kits. A $20,000 reward has been offered for information leading to
    an arrest and conviction.
    "In some cases, people are reluctant to speak to investigators
    about some things that they may know," Blackwell said.
    He said investigators have yet to come up with a profile of the
    arsonist. "We don't know if they are young or old or male or
    female," Blackwell said.
    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been
    called in to help with the investigation.
    ---
    Associated Press Writer Ron Vample contributed to this report.

    On the Net:
    Prince George's Fire and Emergency Medical Services:
    http://www.pgfireems.com

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  • #2
    Montgomery County, MD

    ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - Fire investigators in Montgomery County,
    Md., said Friday that 24 suspicious blazes in the county are not
    linked to a rash of arsons in neighboring Prince George's County,
    Md., and Washington, D.C.
    "We're very concerned about the pattern of arson that is
    occurring," said Gordon Aoyagi, Fire Administrator of the
    Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.
    The 24 blazes in Washington and Prince George's considered
    similar in nature have involved occupied dwellings in poorer
    neighborhoods. Six of those fires are conclusively linked to one
    another.
    However, the Montgomery fires have been on school properties,
    parkland, or in brush near unoccupied areas. They occurred chiefly
    in the North Potomac-Darnestown area, an affluent section of the
    county about 20 miles north of Washington.
    "We believe juveniles may be involved," Aoyagi said.
    Montgomery investigators are checking with counterparts in
    northern Virginia and elsewhere in Maryland, but see no reason to
    widen the inquiry, said Prince George's County Fire and Emergency
    Medical Services Department Chief Ronald Blackwell.
    Damage estimates in Montgomery County have totaled about
    $750,000 since April. Five schools and a daycare facility have been
    damaged.
    "We have very little physical evidence," said Asst. Fire
    Marshal Brian Geraci.
    "We're very fortunate we have not had any injuries," said
    Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan.
    Meanwhile, an arson investigation task force organized by
    officials in Prince George's and Washington continues working with
    analysts from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
    Explosives to determine whether 18 other fires in their
    jurisdictions can be conclusively linked to the probe with
    scientific evidence.
    "We're still looking at other fires going back several
    months," Blackwell said.
    A $1,000 reward is being offered in the Montgomery County
    investigation, while there is a $20,000 reward in the D.C. and
    Prince George's fires.
    ---
    On the Net:
    Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service:
    http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov
    Prince George's County Fire and Emergency Medical Services
    Department: http://www.pgfireems.com
    District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services
    Department: http://fems.dc.gov

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Investigation continues into 24 suspicious fires


      (College Park-AP) -- There's no suspect yet. But Prince George's
      County Fire Chief Ron Blackwell says investigators have developed
      geographical and behavioral profiles.
      Fourteen fires in Washington D-C and ten in Prince George's are
      considered similar in nature. Six of them have been conclusively
      linked to one another.
      Speaking in College Park this afternoon, Blackwell said
      investigators have also gotten help from the state arson task force
      and the state fire marshal's office.
      He says at this point, no other suspicious fires have been
      linked. But the chief adds that investigators in the lab are taking
      their time to make sure the evidence is irrefutable.

      (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

      Comment


      • #4
        By MICHAEL W. KAHN
        Associated Press Writer
        WASHINGTON (AP) - A man who lives in an apartment building that
        has been the scene of three suspicious fires was arrested Tuesday
        and charged with starting one of them.
        Paul M. DuBois, 57, was arrested at his fourth-floor home in the
        Marina View Towers in Southwest Washington. Officials said he was
        charged with arson for an early morning blaze July 23.
        "The whole hallway was drenched in an ignitable liquid. Several
        containers full of an ignitable liquid were left on the floor,"
        said Alan Etter, spokesman for the District of Columbia Fire and
        Emergency Medical Services Department.
        DuBois suffered minor burns in the fire.
        "They had no evidence," said Greg Lattimer, DuBois' lawyer.
        "It's just the fact that the District of Columbia needed to
        respond to this situation."
        Officials are also investigating other fires in the building. On
        the night of June 26, a flammable liquid was poured on several
        fifth-floor doors and ignited. Two residents and a firefighter were
        injured. On July 6, a fourth-floor carpet and door were ignited
        with a flammable liquid early in the morning, but no one was hurt.
        On June 27, flammable liquid was poured on the fourth floor, but
        never ignited.
        During the investigation, fire code violations - including lack
        of a working smoke alarm - were discovered in the building. The
        owners were fined $3,000.
        Meanwhile, investigators are also looking into a series of
        suspicious fires in the area - 14 in Washington and 10 in Prince
        George's County, Md.
        "The fire at Marina Towers on which the arrest was based has
        some similarities" to those 24 fires, said Chief Ronald Blackwell
        of the Prince George's County Fire and Rescue Service.
        DuBois has not been linked to any of the 24 fires or the other
        incidents in his building.
        ---
        Associated Press Writer Derrill Holly contributed to this
        report.

        (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
        Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
        Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
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        Comment


        • #5
          WASHINGTON (AP) - Arson investigators added a Tuesday morning
          fire to the list of 31 unsolved cases in the Washington area they
          believe are linked to the same unknown suspect or group.
          "The time of day, the location of the fire on the outside of
          the structure and the materials used - in this case a container and
          ignitable fluid - this case is conclusively linked," said Prince
          George's County fire chief Ronald D. Blackwell.
          A joint task force, primarily composed of arson investigators
          from Prince George's County and the District of Columbia, has been
          coordinating the investigation of the suspicious fires. The group
          has conclusively linked 10 fires and one attempted arson through
          physical evidence collected at the scenes.
          Since March 5 there have been 18 arsons and one attempted fire
          set in the district, and 12 arsons in Prince George's, all of which
          are considered similar in nature.
          "Because of the nature of the crime and the need for us to be
          thorough in our analysis, solving these cases is going to take some
          time," said Blackwell.
          The latest blaze occurred at a home in Northeast Washington
          around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday. A resident of the home was awake at the
          time, smelled the smoke and quickly sprayed water on the flames
          after summoning firefighters. A dog trained to sniff out arson
          evidence was brought to the scene.
          "She was engaged early on in this to detect the presence of any
          ignitable liquids. She did alert several times," said Alan Etter,
          spokesman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services
          Department.
          Over the past few months, arson investigators from both
          jurisdictions have been working with federal, state and local
          authorities in the district and suburban Maryland to try to
          identify a suspect. More than 300 leads have been pursued, but no
          arrests have been made.
          "We've got physical evidence and we've conducted a lot of
          interviews, but in these types of cases it's generally a tip from
          the public that gets these cases solved," said Blackwell.
          Profilers believe the suspect has engaged in alcohol abuse and
          reckless driving. He may also have a criminal history, a penchant
          for lying and problems taking responsibility for conditions in his
          life. A reward of $25,000 has been established for information
          leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.
          Forensic investigators at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
          Firearms and Explosives continue to conduct research on evidence
          collected at the scene of many of the fires.
          ---
          On the Net:
          Prince George's County Fire Department:
          http://www.co.pg.md.us/Government/Pu...re/index.asp?h
          0&s &n5


          (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
          Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
          Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

          *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
          On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

          Comment


          • #6
            The List

            List of 31 suspicious fires being investigated, including one
            attempted arson. There are 19 in the District of Columbia and 12 in
            Prince George's County, Md. An asterisk (*) means it is one of the
            eleven fires conclusively linked to one another. Source: Prince
            George's Fire/EMS.
            D.C.:
            March 5: 1700 D St., SE
            March 25: 2030 Jasper Road, SE
            May 15: 4026 Southern Avenue, SE
            May 17: 3367 Alden Place, NE
            May 20: 1737 Trinidad Avenue, NE
            May 22: 105 53rd Street, NE
            June 5: 2800 Evarts Street, NE -- killed Lou Edna Jones, 86.
            June 5: 1415 Ames Place, NE
            June 9: 2500 N Street, SE
            June 10: 5038 Drake Place, SE
            June 25: 4920 North Capitol Street, NW (*)
            June 25: 1901 13th Street, NW
            June 30: 2500 Randolph Street, NE
            July 2: 300 block of 17th Street, SE
            Sep. 8: 200 block of Quakenbos Street, NW (*)
            Sep. 10: 4700 block of Dix Street, NE (*)
            Sep. 14: 4115 Anacostia Ave., NE (*) -- attempted arson, suspect
            chased before fire could be started
            Oct. 8: 1300 block of Otis St., NE
            Nov. 11: 1700 block of 24th St., NE (*)

            Prince George's:

            April 1: 1500 block of Mystic Avenue, Oxon Hill.
            April 20: 5700 Jay Street, Fairmount Heights
            May 27: 2900 St. Claire Drive, Marlow Heights
            May 29: 1226 Benning Road, Capitol Heights
            June 13: 3808 Ellis Street, Boulevard Heights (*)
            June 17: 924 Abel Avenue, Capitol Heights
            June 17: 5800 Jefferson Heights Drive, Fairmount Heights (*)
            June 19: 2916 Southern Avenue, Capitol Heights
            June 20: 1315 Chapel Oaks Drive, Chapel Oaks (*)
            June 21: 2406 Wintergreen Avenue, District Heights (*)
            June 22: 1505 Ruston Avenue, District Heights (*)
            Sep. 4: 5100 block of Barnaby Run Drive, Oxon Hill (*)



            (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
            Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
            Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

            *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
            On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

            Comment


            • #7
              11/17

              WASHINGTON (AP) - The serial arsonist who has set more than 30
              fires at homes in the District of Columbia and Prince George's
              County, Md., is believed to have struck in Alexandria, Va., the
              head of the Arson Task Force said Monday.
              Investigators believe a Sunday morning fire at a house in the
              4400 block of Braddock Road is similar to 12 arsons in Prince
              George's and 18 arsons and an attempted arson in the district, said
              Prince George's Fire/EMS Chief Ronald Blackwell.
              "It's based on the time of day the fire occurred (between
              midnight and 6 a.m.), the location of the fire - outside the
              structure - and because we believe an ignitable fluid was used,"
              said Blackwell.
              No one was injured in the Alexandria fire, which was set at
              about 4:50 a.m. and quickly put out. Alexandria fire officials
              notified the Arson Task Force on Monday afternoon, and evidence
              from the scene was sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
              and Explosives. Blackwell did not know if anyone at the home got a
              look at the person who started it.
              The fires are believed to have started on March 5. An
              86-year-old woman was killed in a June 5 fire in Northeast
              Washington. Investigators have conclusively linked 11 of the fires,
              based on evidence at each scene.
              This was the first time the arsonist has struck outside
              Washington, D.C., and Prince George's County, but Blackwell said
              the development didn't surprise him.
              Federal, state and local authorities are working with the task
              force to identify a suspect. They have pursued more than 300 leads,
              but no arrests have been made.
              "We've got physical evidence and we've conducted a lot of
              interviews, but in these types of cases it's generally a tip from
              the public that gets these cases solved," said Blackwell.
              The chief made a televised appeal to the arsonist last month to
              contact the sniper task force, but so far, no one has called
              claiming to be the person investigators are seeking, Blackwell
              said.
              Investigators believe the person setting the fires has been seen
              only once, when he tried to set a fire Sept. 14 on Anacostia Avenue
              in Northeast Washington. A resident in that home saw someone
              pouring flammable liquid on the porch and chased a man away before
              he could start a fire. Investigators used a description provided by
              the resident to develop a composite sketch.
              The ATF has also developed a profile of the arsonist, though
              officials stress that no one should be ruled out if they don't fit
              the description exactly. The characteristics include possible
              alcohol abuse, reckless or unsafe work practices, blaming others
              for his problems and frequent lying.
              ---
              On the Net:
              Prince George's County, Md., Fire/EMS Dept.:
              http://www.pgfireems.com


              (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
              Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
              Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

              *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
              On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

              Comment


              • #8
                VA case added

                Here is a list of 32 cases being investigated as suspicious
                fires. There have been 18 fires in the District of Columbia, 12
                fires in Prince George's County, Md., and one fire in Alexandria,
                Va. There was also one attempted arson in the district. An asterisk
                (*) means it is one of the 11 cases conclusively linked to one
                another.

                D.C.:

                March 5: 1700 D St. S.E
                March 25: 2030 Jasper Road S.E.
                May 15: 4026 Southern Ave. S.E.
                May 17: 3367 Alden Place N.E.
                May 20: 1737 Trinidad Ave. N.E.
                May 22: 105 53rd St. N.E.
                June 5: 2800 Evarts St. N.E. - killed Lou Edna Jones, 86.
                June 5: 1415 Ames Place N.E.
                June 9: 2500 N St. S.E.
                June 10: 5038 Drake Place S.E.
                June 25: 4920 North Capitol St. N.W. (*)
                June 25: 1901 13th St. N.W.
                June 30: 2500 Randolph St. N.E.
                July 2: 300 block of 17th St. S.E.
                Sep. 8: 200 block of Quakenbos St. N.W. (*)
                Sep. 10: 4700 block of Dix St. N.E. (*)
                Sep. 14: 4115 Anacostia Ave. N.E. (*) -- attempted arson,
                suspect chased before fire could be started
                Oct. 8: 1300 block of Otis St. NE
                Nov. 11: 1700 block of 24th St. N.E .(*)

                Prince George's:

                April 1: 1500 block of Mystic Ave., Oxon Hill.
                April 20: 5700 Jay St., Fairmount Heights
                May 27: 2900 St. Claire Drive, Marlow Heights
                May 29: 1226 Benning Road, Capitol Heights
                June 13: 3808 Ellis St., Boulevard Heights (*)
                June 17: 924 Abel Ave., Capitol Heights
                June 17: 5800 Jefferson Heights Drive, Fairmount Heights (*)
                June 19: 2916 Southern Ave., Capitol Heights
                June 20: 1315 Chapel Oaks Drive, Chapel Oaks (*)
                June 21: 2406 Wintergreen Ave., District Heights (*)
                June 22: 1505 Ruston Ave., District Heights (*)
                Sep. 4: 5100 block of Barnaby Run Drive, Oxon Hill (*)

                Alexandria:

                Nov. 16: 4400 block of West Braddock Road

                Source: Prince George's County Fire/EMS Dept.


                (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  WASHINGTON (AP) - Investigators believe a serial arsonist who
                  has set more than 30 fires in the Washington area struck early
                  Saturday morning in New Carrollton, Md.
                  The Arson Task Force linked the fire in the 5700 block of 83rd
                  Place to 12 other arsons in Prince George's County, 18 arsons and
                  an attempted arson in the District of Columbia and an arson in
                  Alexandria, Va., Prince George's Fire/EMS Chief Ronald Blackwell
                  said.
                  Investigators made the arson determination based on the fire
                  occurring overnight, being outside the house and other physical
                  evidence Blackwell declined to identify.
                  The small fire was set with an ignitable fluid on the side of a
                  garage attached to a one-story house around 4:30 a.m, Blackwell
                  said. It was quickly extinguished, and the two men inside escaped
                  unharmed.
                  Since March 5, 33 fires have been identified as similar in
                  nature, and 13 have now been conclusively linked based on physical
                  evidence, fire officials said. An 86-year-old woman was killed in a
                  June 5 fire in Northeast Washington.
                  Debris and other evidence from the scene of the New Carrollton
                  fire has been sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
                  Explosives lab.
                  Investigators canvassed the neighborhood Saturday where the
                  latest fire occurred, hoping residents could provide clues.
                  Earlier this year, they released a composite sketch of the
                  arsonist based on a description by a Northeast Washington resident,
                  who chased away a man pouring flammable liquid on a porch.
                  The ATF has also developed a profile of the arsonist. The
                  characteristics include possible alcohol abuse, reckless or unsafe
                  work practices, blaming others for his problems and frequent lying.
                  Blackwell said stress also may have triggered the arsonist.
                  "We're certainly in the midst of the holiday season, and
                  they're good stresses and bad stresses that are going on now that
                  may have caused the individual to act out." he added.
                  Blackwell said he's not frustrated that they haven't made an
                  arrest.
                  "We continue to be energized because we believe we're on the
                  right track and getting closer, but there is an ongoing need for
                  the public's involvement," he added.
                  Investigators have posted a $25,000 reward for information
                  leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist.
                  ---
                  On the Net:
                  Prince George's County, Md., +Fire+/EMS Dept.:
                  http://www.pgfireems.com

                  (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                  Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                  Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                  *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                  On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    January 23rd, 2004

                    (Washington-AP) -- D-C Fire and E-M-S says it's too early to try
                    to make any links to a long list of other arson cases, but there's
                    a report of a man setting fire to a woman's door this evening on
                    Franklin Street. He then fled.
                    Fire and E-M-S spokesman Alan Etter cautions against making any
                    links now to 33 arson fires and one attempted arson that have taken
                    place in D-C, Prince George's County and Alexandria. He points out
                    that the Franklin Street fire was sparked at a different time of
                    day and in a different corridor, when compared with the other
                    blazes.
                    Investigators say a fire in Bladensburg this morning appears to
                    be the work of a serial arsonist who has been targeting homes in
                    the Washington region since last March. That fire began around
                    three this morning, when investigators say someone used an
                    accelerant in the hallway of a garden-style apartment building in
                    the 34-hundred block of 55th Avenue.

                    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Update

                      Here is the list of 34 cases being investigated. There have been
                      18 fires and one attempted arson in the District of Columbia, 14
                      fires in Prince George's County, Md., and one fire in Alexandria,
                      Va. An asterisk (*) means it is one of the 13 cases conclusively
                      linked to one another.

                      Washington, D.C.:

                      March 5: 1700 D St. SE
                      March 25: 2030 Jasper Road SE
                      May 15: 4026 Southern Ave. SE
                      May 17: 3367 Alden Place NE
                      May 20: 1737 Trinidad Ave. NE
                      May 22: 105 53rd St. NE
                      June 5: 2800 Evarts Street NE - killed Lou Edna Jones, 86
                      June 5: 1415 Ames Place NE
                      June 9: 2500 N St. SE
                      June 10: 5038 Drake Place SE
                      June 25: 4920 North Capitol St. NW (*)
                      June 25: 1901 13th St. NW
                      June 30: 2500 Randolph St. NE
                      July 2: 300 block of 17th Street SE
                      Sep. 8: 200 block of Quakenbos Street NW (*)
                      Sep. 10: 4700 block of Dix Street NE (*)
                      Sep. 14: 4115 Anacostia Ave. NE (*) - attempted arson, suspect
                      chased before fire could be started
                      Oct. 8: 1300 block of Otis Street NE
                      Nov. 11: 1700 block of 24th Street NE (*)

                      Prince George's County, Md.:

                      April 1: 1500 block of Mystic Avenue, Oxon Hill
                      April 20: 5700 Jay St., Fairmount Heights
                      May 27: 2900 St. Claire Drive, Marlow Heights
                      May 29: 1226 Benning Road, Capitol Heights
                      June 13: 3808 Ellis St., Boulevard Heights (*)
                      June 17: 924 Abel Ave., Capitol Heights
                      June 17: 5800 Jefferson Heights Drive, Fairmount Heights (*)
                      June 19: 2916 Southern Ave., Capitol Heights
                      June 20: 1315 Chapel Oaks Drive, Chapel Oaks (*)
                      June 21: 2406 Wintergreen Ave., District Heights (*)
                      June 22: 1505 Ruston Ave., District Heights (*)
                      Sep. 4: 5100 block of Barnaby Run Drive, Oxon Hill (*)
                      Dec. 20: 5700 block of 83rd Place, New Carrollton (*)
                      Jan. 22, 2004: 3814 55th Ave., Bladensburg

                      Alexandria, Va.:

                      Nov. 16: 4400 block of West Braddock Road (*)

                      Source: Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department

                      (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        3/4/ Update

                        WASHINGTON (AP) - A big reward and hundreds of tips haven't led
                        to an arrest of the arsonist responsible for up to 35 fires around
                        the nation's capital that have killed one person and injured 10.
                        The fires, which began a year ago, have shaken residents in
                        parts of the area that in the past 2½ years has seen a terrorist
                        attack, anthrax letters and sniper shootings.
                        "It's a very scary situation," District of Columbia Councilman
                        Vincent Orange said. Several of the fires have occurred in his
                        ward, and constituents have expressed concerns at community
                        meetings.
                        "I tell them the arsonist has a pattern of doing this between
                        the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., and so we need to be vigilant and
                        have a dog or something that can make noise," Orange said.
                        Since a telephone tip line was established last July, more than
                        500 calls and e-mails offering information have been received. A
                        sketch of a possible suspect began circulating last month,
                        prompting 150 new tips but no arrests.
                        Profilers say the suspect is likely to be angry or troubled.
                        Studies of serial arsonists have found them to be skilled liars
                        capable of being charming, manipulative and cunning. They also are
                        quick to blame others for problems in their personal or
                        professional lives.
                        "Somebody out there knows this person, and they know that they
                        are out those times of night or early morning when the fires are
                        occurring," said Victor Stagnero, lead arson investigator for the
                        Prince George's County, Md., Fire and Emergency Medical Services
                        Department.
                        Since March 8, there have been 18 fires in Washington and 17 in
                        areas that border the city, mainly Prince George's County. An
                        86-year-old woman was killed in one of the blazes.
                        The last two fires considered similar enough in nature to be
                        added to the list were Feb. 6 in Fairfax, Va., and Feb. 14 in
                        Silver Spring, Md.
                        Nearly a dozen residents of homes that have been damaged
                        declined to discuss the fires, although some acknowledged they are
                        concerned that no arrests have been made. Authorities are advising
                        people to remain alert, keep their porch lights on at night, and
                        consider installing motion-activated lighting on their property.
                        "We certainly need people to be vigilant if we're going to
                        catch this guy," Washington Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said.
                        Solving an arson is not easy. According to FBI statistics, only
                        16 percent of arson investigations end in arrests. To spur tips, a
                        $35,000 reward has been established for information leading to the
                        arrest of a suspect for the Washington-area fires.
                        Investigators also have consulted with Seattle authorities,
                        where scores of arsons in four counties a decade ago were linked to
                        a single suspect. Paul Kenneth Keller, then 27, pleaded guilty to
                        setting 32 fires and acknowledged setting 44 others. He was
                        sentenced to 75 years in prison.
                        In the Seattle cases, Keller was recognized by a firefighter who
                        found that he resembled two of three sketches released by
                        investigators. Keller's father confirmed his identity and informed
                        investigators that his son had been caught setting fire to a vacant
                        house when he was 8 or 9, and was once fired from a bookkeeper's
                        job following a suspicious fire at his desk.
                        Washington-area firefighters have gone door to door in some
                        neighborhoods where the fires have occurred, distributing sketches
                        and urging residents and business owners to be alert for anything
                        suspicious.
                        "Someone's going to recognize the profile information and the
                        sketch we've put out, and be able to help us lock this person up,"
                        Stagnero said.
                        ---
                        The tip line number is 301-772-7766.
                        Prince George's County Fire/EMS: http://www.pgfireems.com

                        (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                        Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                        Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                        On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          3/30/04

                          Witnesses say man who posed as fire official resembles arson
                          suspect


                          (Lanham-AP) -- A man posing as a Prince George's County fire
                          investigator attempted to get personnel information from an
                          elementary school before being turned away.
                          Some witnesses describe the man as resembling the sketch of the
                          serial arsonist who has set dozens of fires in Washington D-C,
                          Maryland, and Virginia over the last year.
                          The incident happened yesterday morning at Magnolia Elementary
                          School on Nightingale Drive in Lanham.
                          Prince George's fire spokesman Mark Brady says the man showed
                          some type of fire department I-D card, and asked to see personnel
                          records. He left when administrators refused his request. They then
                          called authorities.
                          Brady says investigators are working closely with the school
                          district's security officials, and have warned all schools to be
                          extra cautious.

                          (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                          Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                          Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                          *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                          On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Arrest made 3/31

                            WASHINGTON (AP) - A suspect was arrested Wednesday on charges of
                            impersonating a fire official at a suburban school. But while
                            authorities admitted he looks like the man in the serial arsonist
                            sketch, they stressed that investigation was not over.
                            "He does resemble the individual in the sketch, but it's
                            important to remember that the charges are only related to what
                            happened at the school," Chief Ronald D. Blackwell of the Prince
                            George's County, Md., Fire/EMS Department said Wednesday night.
                            "I'm certainly encouraged, but there's still a lot of work to be
                            done," Blackwell said of the hunt for the arsonist wanted for
                            setting fires in the nation's capital and its suburbs.
                            The unidentified 33-year-old man was arrested at a Riverdale
                            Heights, Md., apartment complex as he was getting into a white
                            Volvo.
                            "We appreciate the public involvement in this. We received a
                            number of tips about the Volvo," Blackwell said. The car was seen
                            Monday at Magnolia Elementary School in Lanham, Md., where the
                            suspect allegedly claimed to be a fire inspector and asked for
                            records including a list of employees, a school evacuation plan and
                            a yearbook. School officials refused to comply and the man left.
                            On Tuesday evening, a teacher at Thomas Johnson Middle School -
                            also in Lanham - was confronted in her classroom by a man who tried
                            to touch her shoulder. She got away and left the building. The
                            teacher later saw a report about Monday's case and told
                            investigators that man also resembled the sketch of the arsonist.
                            Blackwell is one of the leaders of the Arson Task Force, which
                            is investigating the 35 fires and one attempted arson dating back
                            to March 8, 2003. He said the investigation into the Tuesday
                            incident remained open.
                            Both cases had Prince George's County Public Schools officials
                            moving to beef up security. Measures being taken include "locking
                            doors that may not normally be locked, and being more vigilant
                            about monitoring visitors," said school system spokeswoman Lynn
                            McCawley. She said neither school had security cameras.
                            "It's hard to tell what to make of it, I really don't know, but
                            it's really frightening," Thomas Johnson Middle School Principal
                            Melvin Johnson told WRC-TV. "I've told the staff and students that
                            we will be on lockdown until further notice."
                            Since last March, there have been 18 fires and one attempted
                            arson in the District of Columbia, 14 fires in Prince George's, and
                            one each in Montgomery County, Md., Alexandria, Va., and Fairfax
                            County, Va. Of the 36 cases, 15 have been conclusively linked to
                            one another. The others are considered similar enough in nature to
                            be included among the blazes being investigated by the task force.
                            A June 5, 2003 fire in Northeast Washington killed Lou Edna
                            Jones, 86.
                            ---
                            On the Net:
                            Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department:
                            http://www.pgfireems.com
                            Prince George's County Public Schools: http://www.pgcps.org


                            (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
                            Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                            Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                            *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                            On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here is the list of 36 cases being investigated. There have been
                              18 fires and one attempted arson in the District of Columbia, 14
                              fires in Prince George's County, Md., 1 fire in Alexandria, Va., 1
                              fire in Fairfax County, Va., and 1 fire in Montgomery County, Md.
                              An asterisk (*) means it is one of the 15 cases conclusively
                              linked to one another.

                              District of Columbia:

                              March 8, 2003: 1700 D St., SE
                              March 25, 2003: 2030 Jasper Road, SE
                              May 15, 2003: 4026 Southern Avenue, SE
                              May 17, 2003: 3367 Alden Place, NE
                              May 20, 2003: 1737 Trinidad Avenue, NE
                              May 22, 2003: 105 53rd Street, NE
                              June 5, 2003: 2800 Evarts Street, NE - killed Lou Edna Jones, 86
                              June 5, 2003: 1415 Ames Place, NE
                              June 9,2003: 2500 N Street, SE
                              June 10, 2003: 5038 Drake Place, SE
                              June 25, 2003: 4920 North Capitol Street, NW (*)
                              June 25, 2003: 1901 13th Street, NW
                              June 30, 2003: 2500 Randolph Street, NE
                              July 2, 2003: 300 block of 17th Street, SE
                              Sep. 8, 2003: 200 block of Quakenbos Street, NW (*)
                              Sep. 10, 2003: 4700 block of Dix Street, NE (*)
                              Sep. 14, 2003: 4115 Anacostia Ave., NE (*) -- attempted arson,
                              suspect chased before fire could be started
                              Oct. 8, 2003: 1300 block of Otis St., NE (*)
                              Nov. 11, 2003: 1700 block of 24th St., NE (*)

                              Prince George's County, Md.:

                              April 1, 2003: 1500 block of Mystic Avenue, Oxon Hill.
                              April 20, 2003: 5700 Jay Street, Fairmount Heights
                              May 27, 2003: 2900 St. Claire Drive, Marlow Heights
                              May 29, 2003: 1226 Benning Road, Capitol Heights
                              June 13, 2003: 3808 Ellis Street, Boulevard Heights (*)
                              June 17, 2003: 924 Abel Avenue, Capitol Heights
                              June 17, 2003: 5800 Jefferson Heights Drive, Fairmount Heights
                              (*)
                              June 19, 2003: 2916 Southern Avenue, Capitol Heights
                              June 20, 2003: 1315 Chapel Oaks Drive, Chapel Oaks (*)
                              June 21, 2003: 2406 Wintergreen Avenue, District Heights (*)
                              June 22, 2003: 1505 Ruston Avenue, District Heights (*)
                              Sep. 4, 2003: 5100 block of Barnaby Run Drive, Oxon Hill (*)
                              Dec. 20, 2003: 5700 block of 83rd Place, New Carrollton (*)
                              Jan. 22, 2004: 3814 55th Avenue, Bladensburg (*)

                              Alexandria, Va.:

                              Nov. 16, 2003: 4400 block of West Braddock Road (*)

                              Fairfax County, Va.:

                              Feb. 6, 2004: 7100 block of Richmond Highway (Alexandria section
                              of county)

                              Montgomery County, Md.:

                              Feb. 14, 2004: 7700 block of Blair Road, Silver Spring

                              Source: Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
                              Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                              Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                              *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                              On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                              Comment

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