Officials seek public's help in arson investigations
QUINCY, Mass. (WHDH) -- Investigators are working to determine if two fires are linked to a string of arsons on the South Shore.
Two fires, in Quincy and Hanson, broke out Tuesday morning.
Arson investigators from the Quincy Fire Department, State Fire Marshal’s office and federal ATF agents were on the scene of a three-alarm fire at a vacant building on Quincy Avenue in Quincy Tuesday.
Authorities said the unoccupied structure went up in flames around 2 a.m. Local, state and federal investigators who combed through the wreckage said it’s too early to tell how the fire started, but they do believe the fire was suspicious.
“Based on the fact that the building was unoccupied and rear stairwell where the fire occurred, we’re starting to rule out causes now,” said Chief Joseph Barron of the Quincy Police Department.
Fire also broke out at an abandoned storage building in Hanson Tuesday morning. Investigators said this fire fits what has become a disturbing pattern of suspicious fires in southeastern Massachusetts -- more than a dozen fires in vacant buildings in recent weeks.
Authorities said two fires in vacant buildings Monday morning, one in Halifax and the other in Plympton, were clearly deliberately set. There is no word on if any of the fires are connected, but investigators said they are concerned that an arsonist or arsonists may be on the loose.
“It’s well known that it’s been a series of fires that have occurred over the last month in the southeastern part of the state, which have occurred in vacant and abandoned buildings. We are working an extensive investigation in that manner and we seek the public’s assistance,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan.
Authorities said although the buildings are vacant, the danger that the fire could spread of that a responding firefighter could get hurt.
Officials are urging anyone with information on the fires to call the statewide arson hotline at 1-800-682-9229.