MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police are looking for the public’s help in finding whoever is responsible for lighting 17 fires overnight in south Minneapolis.

Authorities said the fires were lit between 8:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 a.m. Saturday. They burned in a 10-block area bordered by West River Parkway on the east, Snelling Avenue South on the west, 32nd Street east on the north and 45th Street east on the south.

Sgt. William Palmer said, “Over half of [the things lit on fire] were piles of leaves or leaf bags people had set out. We had a couple cars, a couples garages, a dumpster, a retaining wall.”

At one time during the night, police had 20 squad cars in the area looking for those responsible.

Kara Seymour,who’s lived in south Minneapolis most of her life, said she just doesn’t understand why someone would light her garage on fire and ruin nearly all that was in it.

“Why would somebody do that?” she said. “For kicks? I don’t get it.”

Police said they don’t know if a substance was used in lighting the fires, but they do know that the same suspect(s) is responsible. The fires are all too similar, police said.

Scott Zoller, who lives in the area, said he couldn’t imagine anyone who lives in the neighborhood lighting 17 fires.

“This area is just so quiet,” he said. “It’s just got to be someone just out on a rant or rampage. Or some kids just thinking it’s a fun time.”

The damage to property has sparked those who live in the neighborhood to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

“Whoever is doing it better look out,” Zoller said.

If you have any information about the fires or those responsible for them, call the Minneapolis Arson Unit at (612) 673-2549.


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