Lubbock Police are now stepping up patrols in central Lubbock, after investigators ruled a fourth fire in the area arson. Meanwhile, neighbors are on alert and a new reward is being offered to catch the person responsible.
The Lubbock Fire Marshal's Office is not offering any more details about the fires, but say they were no accident. They are urging folks who live in the 2100 blocks of 21st and 22nd streets to keep an eye out for any unusual activity, and the neighborhood association in that area is offering a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the arsonist.
"This is a very serious situation; we recognize we have not had any injuries or fatalities up to this point, and we want to keep it that way," Lubbock Fire Chief Rhea Cooper said.
Four fires, in one week and they all have a common thread, arson. On December 27th, a vacant home on the corner of 21st and Avenue U caught fire. Over the weekend the old Texas Floral building and another structure caught fire. Then Thursday, a shed caught fire, all in a one block radius.
"These things do not accidentally happen this close together," Cooper said.
"We've been very concerned with the fires," President of The Heart of Lubbock Neighborhood Association Greg Bruce said.
While each fire has been in a vacant building, Bruce says whoever is responsible could end up hurting somebody.
"Because of the occupied residences and homes that are around these buildings," Bruce said.
Lubbock City Councilwoman Linda DeLeon, who also lives in the area, says the person or people responsible could hurt themselves as well.
"They're putting their own lives in jeopardy by creating these fires. They could be jeopardizing their own families if they live in a nearby home, just to see a fire go up," DeLeon said.
"So our neighborhood association is offering a $1,000 reward for the conviction of the individuals responsible for the fires," Bruce said.
"The fire marshal's office and the police are working very closely together to try to apprehend whoever is doing this; police units will be stepping up patrols in that area," Cooper said.
Authorities say neighbors can help by keeping watch over the area.
"We just ask that you make it your business to be alert and aware of surroundings," Cooper said.
"They can be a great assistance to the police department in stepping up and partnering with the police, letting them know if they see anything suspicious," Bruce said.
Investigators say they are following several leads, but they still need your help. The fire marshal's office is now asking that all your tips go to the Lubbock Crime Line. That number is (806) 741-1000, and callers can remain anonymous.
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