Reporting Bill Hudson
BROOKLYN PARK (WCCO) — Any sense of security that Brooklyn Park area business owners had now lies in the ashes and charred metal of a used car lot.
It was around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning when firefighters got the call. When they arrived at 6400 Lakeland Ave. N., they discovered four vehicles burning, in separate areas of the lot.
“The concern we had in this one is we did have fuel leaking from several of the vehicles. It took a little extra time to get this fire under control,” said Deputy Fire Chief Todd Seitz.
When the fires were extinguished four vehicles, including a BMW were destroyed. Three other vehicles were damaged by the intense heat.
Todd Hesse runs Formula Propeller and Marine located next door to the car business. He fears an escalation of what has been a series of petty crimes to strike the area. Suddenly, the stakes are higher – arson fires are both damaging and potentially deadly.
“It started with a simple theft in a boat for us, catalytic converters for them. Then, stereos and they moved on to our catalytic converters all the way up to, as you can see, burning vehicles,” said Hesse.
Wednesday’s fires are the latest arsons to hit the northern suburbs. Two recent playground fires, one in north Minneapolis and the other in Brooklyn Park appear to be unrelated.
“We think this is different from the playground fire a couple of days prior. In that playground fire it involved juveniles and we did arrest one juvenile in that case!” said Police Inspector Todd Milburn.
A witness did report two adult males running west from the scene just minutes after the vehicles were up in flames.
Police would now like the public’s help in identifying the arsonists involved in this latest case. Anyone with information is asked to contact Brooklyn Park police.