Heavy house blaze one of many recent suspicious fires in South C - KMOV.com

Heavy house blaze one of many recent suspicious fires in South City neighborhood

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House fire broke out in Benton Park neighborhood around 5 p.m. on April 13 (Credit: KMOV) House fire broke out in Benton Park neighborhood around 5 p.m. on April 13 (Credit: KMOV)
SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

The Bomb and Arson squad is investigating the latest in a string of suspicious fires in a South City neighborhood.

Wednesday afternoon the fire department was called to a fully involved two-story building on Jefferson near Utah. The time of day and fast moving nature of the fire immediately raised red flags.

“It is suspicious and that’s why our investigative team is here,” explained Capt. Garron Mosby with St. Louis Fire Department.

Neighbors say there have been more than a dozen fires in the Benton Park neighborhood since November. .

“Pretty scary, I think what I fear the most is that there's been just too many of them, too close,” said Sandy Hartkey who lives just a few doors down from Wednesday’s fire. Another fire happened just behind her home.

The fires have all been at vacant buildings in the neighborhood, but other than that there is no real pattern, according to the fire department.

“There’s nothing that blends them or connects them all,” explained Capt. Mosby.

But because of the number of fires, the fire department tells News 4 a new protocol is underway in Benton Park. When a fire call comes out, the chief investigator and the Bomb and Arson Squad will respond along with regular crews.

While residents fear an arsonist is targeting the neighborhood, investigators say they are not calling these fires arson at this time, saying the investigation is ongoing.

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