Overnight Fires In Bloomfield Ruled Arsons, Fire Marshal Says

Fires that burned outside two vacant houses on the east side of Bloomfield early Wednesday were intentionally set, officials said.

Police also reopened an investigation of an earlier brush fire in the center of town that previously was believed to be an accident, Police Capt. Stephen Hajdasz said.

A pile of wood pallets in the backyard of a house at 20 Gilbert Ave. burned in the first overnight fire, which was reported at 12:10 a.m. Wednesday, Hajdasz said. Some of the flames spread to a small shed and to the house itself, which is not being lived in.

Less than an hour and a half later, at 1:25 a.m., a dumpster fire in the driveway of a house at 15 Walker Lane was reported. No one is living in that house, either, Hajdasz said.

Fire Marshal William Lewis said the homes at 15 and 17 Walker Lane also were damaged.

The two fires were 2.5 miles from each other.

No accelerants were detected at the two fire scenes, but the circumstances — they happened overnight, at vacant homes when no one was around — made fire investigators suspicious, Hajdasz said.

Lewis said the two fires that were put out early Wednesday have been ruled arsons.

The two fires caused police to take another look at the cause of a brush fire behind a house in the center of town earlier this month, Hajdasz said. A pile of brush that had been sitting in the backyard of 13 Crestview Drive originally was believed to have been ignited accidentally around 8:15 p.m. Sept. 15, he said. A resident was home at the time.

That fire spread, causing minor damage to a shed.

Anyone with information about what may have sparked the fires is asked to call police at 860-242-6060.

There is a $2,500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the Wednesday fires, Lewis said. The reward money is provided by Connecticut Fair Plan. Tips may be made anonymously to 1-800-842-7766 (1-800 84ARSON.)

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