Multiple fires in Taunton believed to be set by arsonist

By News Staff


Twitter: @ABC6

TAUNTON, Mass. (WLNE) – Police in Taunton are searching for a suspected arsonist after firefighters responded to a series of suspicious fires within a one-mile radius Wednesday night.

Firefighters responded to Silver City Gas and Service Station just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday to extinguish a fire set in a pickup truck.

“I’m ready to cry,” said James Steiner, whose truck was severely damaged in the fire. “I’m really ready to cry, because I’m not going to find another truck like this.”

As soon as they knocked down the fire, they got another call that Art’s Bakery on Weir Street was also ablaze.

After extinguishing the fire at Art’s Bakery, firefighters were approached by a neighbor who alerted them to yet another fire in his back yard.

 “As we’re putting that out, the porch next to that goes up,” said Taunton Fire Chief Scott Dexter. “So it was 3 houses right in a row that had very suspicious fires.”

A fifth fire was soon reported at an abandoned house on nearby Leonard Court Road, leading authorities to believe this was a case of arson.

Chief Dexter said Wednesday night’s fires had what appear to be some of the telltale signs of arson.

“The location, the timing of them all right in a row, and what was lit on fire,” he said. “There’s no direct lead on what exactly caused the fires.”

No injuries were reported in any of the fires.

Art’s bakery remained closed Thursday as employees assessed the damage.

“I am angry, but there’s nothing else I can say about it,” said Steiner. “Right now I feel very unlucky. I’ve got to call my insurance company and see what they’re going to say.”

Taunton Police took one man into custody Thursday morning that fit a witness’s description of the suspected arsonist. After further questioning, that man was released.

Taunton Police announced in a press conference Thursday that the city is offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the culprit. 

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019