Originally Published: November 10, 2002 10 a.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY – Fire officials need help finding the person or people responsible for allegedly intentionally setting three fires during the past several months, Central Yavapai Fire District Fire Marshal Charlie Cook said.
"We usually get about one arson (case) a year," he said. "For us to have three in about a five-week period is really unusual."
Cook said investigators believe that a fire in a home in the 4300 block of Cypress Drive on Sept. 14 was arson. An off-duty Prescott police officer drove past the home just before 5 a.m. that day and saw smoke. Fire crews were able to extinguish the flames in the recently renovated home, but not before it caused about $5,000 worth of damage.
Cook said that a gray Honda Prelude found burning on the side of the road at Williamson Valley Road and Granite Oaks drive at around midnight on Sept. 21 is likely an arson case. Officials determined that the fire started in the passenger compartment of the vehicle and that someone used a chemical accelerant to speed up the process.
A second car fire also may be arson. Cook said fire crews found a white Ford Taurus burning in the Kmart parking lot, off of Highway 69 in Prescott Valley, at around 2:15 a.m. on Oct. 23. Investigators discovered pry marks and other signs of forced entry on the vehicle. Cook also said the fire began in the passenger compartment.
Cook added the he does not believe the alleged arsons are related but that they concern him nonetheless.
"We really want to take a stand on this," he said. "We're not going to let these fires go on."
Cook added that officials are still investigating each of the cases and that if anyone has any additional information they can call him at CYFD at 759-9933, the Prescott Valley Police Department at 772-9261, or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232 to remain anonymous.