Monday, Nov 20, 2017
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Police & Fire

Michigan officials investigate suspected arson cases

MONROE — Michigan law enforcement officials are investigating several suspected arson cases that may be connected. 

The incidents — frequently occurring overnight involving lawn furniture or random items being set ablaze — are being investigated by Michigan State Police, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Monroe Police Department. 

At least one man who may have been at one of the fire scenes has been described by a witness, although police have not determined his identity or role in the incident. 

The Monroe Police Department recently investigated an arson and attempted arson case, according to department spokesman Lt. John Wall. 

The first incident was reported on Sept. 5 in the 300 block of Harrison Street, where a fire damaged an outside electrical box, light fixture, and window, Lieutenant Wall said. The time of the incident is unknown. 

The second case occurred between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. in the 800 block of East Fourth Street on Oct. 24. Children’s toys were set on fire and extinguished by a resident at a home, Lieutenant Wall said. 

The cause of the fires was unknown, the spokesman said. 

Additionally, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office responded to fires at the Frenchtown Villa mobile home park in Frenchtown Township. Information regarding those fires was not immediately available. 

Monroe County sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Moody said deputies handled two reports on Oct. 20 of items on fire at the residences at the Frenchtown Villa. The incidents were reported at about 3:30 a.m. 

Lawn furniture and a couch that was being thrown out were set on fire, according to Sergeant Moody. When the couch caught fire, a trailer sustained minor damage, too. 

One of the fires “definitely” appeared to be intentionally set, while the other is undetermined, Sergeant Moody said. 

While there are similarities to the other cases in the county, there is some distance among them.

“They might be connected, they might not be,” Sergeant Moody said, “... there’s some similarities, but at this point we just don’t know.” 

Michigan State Police detectives are also investigating fires that were set to various items — such as wood piles or lawn furniture — outside of homes in the Raisin Ridge Manufactured Home Community and on Aberdeen Lane, according a press release from the department. The number of fires was not specified. 

Investigators said they believe the fires were set between midnight and 7 a.m. Oct. 22. 

No injuries were reported, and no arrests have been made in any of the cases.

Anyone with information should contact Trooper Sharon McDonald at the Monroe Post at 734-242-3500.

Contact Allison Reamer at areamer@theblade.com, 419-724-6506, or on Twitter @AllisonRBlade.

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