A string of four fires were started over the course of about two hours early Tuesday morning in Kodiak, destoying eight automobiles and causing about $25,000 in damage. Bayside Fire Chief Bob Himes says it looks like they were the work of an arsonist.
The first fire was in a car reported around 2:30 a.m. in Bell’s Flats. A 1988 Ford truck was set aflame in a storage lot on South Sargent Creek Road. The Women’s Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded and extinguished the flames, but the vehicle was a total loss.
An hour and a half later on the other end of town, Himes says the porch of an unoccupied trailer home on Antone Way was set on fire. Bayside put out the fire, with only minor damage reported.
But the Bayside volunteers’ night had just begun. As that fire was being extinguished, another fire was found not far away. This time it was a 1989 Toyota pick up that was torched on Antone Way near North Star Elementary School.
At the same time, the Alaska State Troopers took a call reporting six vehicles on fire in a lot on nearby Balika Lane. A second alarm was sounded and three Bayside fire engines and nine volunteers responded. The troopers report that flammable construction material and equipment inside a nearby 40-foot Conex shipping van caught fire.
Alaska State Trooper Sergeant Maurice Hughes said the fires in the Mill Bay end of town do look related.
The value of the construction material was estimated to be 10-thousand dollars, with the damage from the night of arson 25-thousand dollars or more. No injuries were reported.
Himes says the fires may also be related to a rash of Dumpster fires earlier this year.
Himes said responding to these types of arson fires could also delay the fire department response to a more serious incident where lives are in danger. Anyone with information about the fires and vandalism are urged to call Kodiak Crimestoppers or the Alaska State Troopers post in Kodiak.