The city of Zanesville has seen four structure fires within a week. Fire Chief, Dave Lacy says the latest two fires, the Ridge Avenue fire, and the Crown Street fire are all being linked, and he says he believes there is an arsonist or arsonists within our midst.
"I would say it is probably more than likely somebody who definitely knows the area and probably somebody that lives in the area. It’s a very good possibility the person is traveling on foot so that a vehicle isn’t being pointed out at two o’clock in the morning, " says Lacy.
Lacy says the profile of an arsonist is typically someone who is unemployed or have a drug or alcohol abuse problem…and one of three motives.
"Including just the thrill of it, or it might be revenge. You also have people who do arsons to do insurance claims, " says Lacy.
Lacy says he thinks the person or persons responsible are most likely doing it for the thrill.
"They definitely want to see it. They want to see the fire build. They want to see the fire trucks get there, " says Lacy.
All of the targets have been vacant homes.
"In their mindset, they think if I do that, nobody is going to get hurt without the realization that these fires can spread from building to building, " says Lacy.
That’s the fire department’s biggest concern, that an occupied structure will catch fire and someone will get hurt, or these intense fires will hurt one of their own.
So, Lacy is asking for the public’s help. He says he wants people to be more aware of what’s going on around them and call local authorities if they see anything suspicious.
"Sometimes it’s the least little thing you’re thinking about that may mean a lot to us as far as a good lead on finding out who’s doing this, " says Lacy.
The fire department is working in conjunction with the police department. Captain Mike Baker says cruisers will specifically be targeting that area at night looking for any leads.