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Chico FD concerned about continued rash of arson fires

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jul 16 2013 01:16:24 AM CDT
Chico FD concerned about continued rash of arson fires

The eye sores that are abandoned couches, mattresses and general debris left behind when people move have recently become targets in a rash of arson fires in Chico.

Last weekend, the fire department responded to 12 fires while in a period of about four hours Sunday night they responded to three more couches that had been set ablaze.

Chico Fire Investigator Marie Fickert says the fuel for the fires are items dumped around town when people move.

"Chico is having quite the arson problems," Fickert says. "We have numerous nightly fires involving outdoor fires such as couches that are being set on fire, dumpsters that are being set on fire, other combustible items."

She says most of the items are being dumped illegally.

"A couple of the people that have had fires just since last night, when I interviewed them, stated that these couches weren't here until Saturday," she says.

Because of the dumping problem in the city, the Chico Fire Department is pleading with people who are moving to deal with trash in the correct way—by taking it to the dump.

They also want property owners to check their properties for any combustible debris that might be a temptation to arsonists.

Fickert says a witness saw a group of young teenagers in the area before Sunday night's fires, whether they are responsible isn't known.

And if you do happen to see anything suspicious going on, you’re asked to call 9-1-1.