Four 'suspicious' fires in one neighborhood - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Four 'suspicious' fires in one neighborhood

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The Oleary home after the fire. The Oleary home after the fire.
Ann Oleary Ann Oleary
Chief Rick Harrison Chief Rick Harrison
Kristian Watkins Kristian Watkins
The burned mattress found on Glenmeade Road. The burned mattress found on Glenmeade Road.
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Firefighters are investigating four suspicious fires that occurred in a Buechel neighborhood. In one case, a woman and her disabled mother escaped their burning house after a neighbor awakened them.

Investigators believe someone deliberately set the fires.

"There's no reasonable explanation why. Everything appears to be set on the outside," said Chief Rick Harrison of the Buechel Fire Protection District.

Ann Oleary had just enough time to wake up her disabled mother before smoke and flames nearly engulfed her Buechel home in the 3700 block of Rosemont.

"There were flames coming out of the carport," Oleary said. "It was pretty bad."

Suspicious fires also occurred at two other properties on the block. Firefighters said a bicycle and lawn mower were set on fire near a carport. Crews also found trash burning behind a third house. Shortly after firefighters arrived, police discovered a burning mattress at a fourth location on Glenmeade Road.

"We have arson investigators on scene and we'll be conducting an investigation into all these fires because they are suspicious in nature," said Harrison. "There have been similar instances in the past year but we're not sure if the incidents are related."

Just before 5 a.m., a neighbor noticed an orange glow in Oleary's carport. That man ended up being Kristian Watkins' husband.

"He darted out the gate, and was banging on the door letting them know because he figured they were sleeping because it was really early," Watkins said.

"I just thank God for my neighbors waking us up," said Oleary. "Our alarm went off right afterward, but it gave us those extra minutes we needed to get out of the house."

Neighbors suspect the arsonist is a person who's already been charged for similar crimes in the area.

"There was a guy let out not too long ago and was on probation, so I'm a little nervous about that," Watkins said.

Firefighters haven't identified a suspect and any theories would be speculation.

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