CLE vehicle, dumpster fires hit cities east side

Posted at 10:00 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 22:00:34-04

Cleveland fire investigators are searching for clues in nearly a dozen vehicle and dumpster fires that have hit the near east side in just the past week.

Fire investigators report the fires took place within a mile radius, from East 17 to East 24, near the intersections of St. Clair, Payne and Superior Avenues.

Cleveland  Fire Spokesman Larry Gray told investigators are trying to determine how the fires got started and are searching for clues in each case.

"You're putting yourself in jeopardy, you are putting lives in jeopardy," said Gray.  "You're destroying potentially thousands of dollars worth of property, and it is a felony."

Gray said there were no injuries in any of the fires, but said in some of the cases the flames nearly spread to near-by buildings and businesses.

Dimension Auto Sales owner Kevin Cottom explained his shop nearly caught fire after three vans were set on fire just outside his building on May 31.

"This is my livelihood, and a lot of other people who work here, that's their livelihood" said Cottom.  "Why are you doing this?"

"I'm glad they got it out, you know I'm just glad that somebody called it in, they got here and they got it out.  Who knows what they're going to start next, what they're going to do next."

Cleveland fire investigators are asking anyone with any information on these fires to please contact Cleveland fire headquarters.

Gary said in some of the cases those caught could face serious felony charges that could include several years in jail, if the person is convicted.

"Try to track down who ever is doing something like this and to bring them to justice so that we won't have our residents worrying about something like this," said Gray.