TAUNTON (CBS) – Taunton firefighters were busy overnight as they put out a string of suspicious fires. Now, police are searching for a suspect.
Firefighters were called to a truck fire on Weir Street around 11:30 p.m.
“I’m ready to cry. I’m really ready to cry,” said truck owner James Steiner. His truck was repaired and parked behind Silver City Gas, ready for Steiner to pick it up. “Right now I feel very unlucky. I gotta call my insurance company and see what they’re gonna say.”
“I feel sorry for the customer and sorry for me – all this trouble,” said Charlie Boulos, owner of Silver City Gas. “But at least nobody got hurt.”
Deputy Fire Chief Scott Dexter said flames were put out quickly. But around 12:15 a.m., they were called to a fire in the basement of a bakery on Weir Street.
Because of damage to the electrical system at 210 Weir St., four residents living in two apartments above the bakery were displaced.
While extinguishing that fire, a couch fire was reported next door, a deck caught fire nearby, and construction debris also went up in flames in three separate incidents.
“The couch and box spring had been against the dumpster,” said Melissa Merenda, neighbor.
Melissa Merenda showed WBZ her backyard, where the third of five arson fires was set in Taunton.
“I didn’t sleep last night. I am tired, but don’t want to sleep tonight,” said Merenda.
“After the second one, and the third one came out, and, of course, the fourth one, I’m like ‘okay, where’s five, six, and seven gonna happen, and where. And we actually went around, I had trucks driving around, as crazy as it may sound, you know, we’re scared,” said Dexter.
Police initially had someone in custody. But a short time later, that person was released as officers determined he was not involved.
“I just want to assure the residents of Taunton that they’re safe,” said Mayor Tom Hoye. “We will remain vigilant. We have extra patrols out as needed.”
“I hope they catch them. He could have killed someone,” said Larry Gantz, neighbor.
The Arson Watch Reward Program is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for anyone who can help solve the case.