Police are offering a $1,000 reward to find the person responsible for a wave of nuisance fires that have plagued a Southern California community over the past three months.
Officials have logged 17 fires since January in a south Glendale community, many of them occurring on neighborhood sidewalks and in alleys.
Most of the fires involved trash, abandoned furniture and some compose, frequently occurring at night and in the early morning, Glendale Police Spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot said.
The most recent blaze on April 19 started with a mattress in an alley in the 400 block of East Harvard Street and spread to a three-car garage, destroying everything in it.
Neighborhood residents have been on edge, including one victim who lost prized possessions stored in her garage.
"It's scary to think that, when I go to sleep at night, what's going to happen next? What is this guy going to do next time?" victim Meggan Berry said. "We lost things like my wedding dress, my wedding memories, those are all stored in there."
The incident prompted concerns by officials who warned that fires could become more serious as the arsonist has become more brazen.
"Our neighbors lost their car," Berry said. "One is a musician, he lost a keyboard. That's how he works."
The arsonist targets bulky items left in alleys and on sidewalks, which is why police are handing out these flyers to residents, asking them to be on alert and not to dump large items, but instead to call the city for bulky item pick up.
"These items can be left up against carports, trees, and other buildings and that's where the danger lies," Lightfoot said. "If these items are caught on fire we have potential for structure fire that could lead to possible injuries, even death."
Police have increased patrol in the area and are asking residents to be on the look out for any suspicious behavior. Police don't know if they're looking for one person or several people.
Last month officials handed out fliers asking residents not to leave any discarded items curbside.
"It hurts my heart because people don't realize what they're doing when they do things like that," Berry said. "I'm sure they didn't think lighting a mattress on fire, people are going to lose their memories."
Anyone with information regarding the fires is asked to call Detective Travis Goodreau at 818-548-3127 or the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4015.
Below is a map showing the locations of 15 fires, provided by the Glendale Police Department.
View Glendale Arson Fires in a larger map