ANDOVER, Minn. - An outbreak of arsons has stunned a normally quiet cul-de-sac in Anoka County. Police have no suspects and are asking residents to be extra cautious.
Four homes on Vale Street in Andover were hit by the fires on Tuesday between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. One of the homes was targeted a second time at approximately 3 a.m. on Thursday.
"The whole neighborhood up there is just on edge about it," said Commander Paul Sommer, Anoka County Sheriff's Department.
Sommer urged residents to "be cognizant of any people walking around after dark and to contact the Sheriff's office by calling 911 immediately if they see something suspicious."
Most of the fires were set on the sides of the exteriors of the homes, often near the gas meters. However, the second fire set at one home was ignited under the rear deck. The intruder or intruders had to climb over a fence to gain access to the backyard.
Damage from that fire was more severe and included some extensive smoke damage.
"We are scared, especially since one house was hit a second time," said Toni Singer, neighbor. "We did go purchase a surveillance system for our house and we actually set our alarm last night at 3 a.m.(Friday), just to do a check on the house and make sure it was not ablaze. It does kind of rattle your sense of security a little bit."
"The fact that these are occupied home is very concerning to us," said Sommer. "We have never seen any type of an arson streak before involving hapless victims, asleep in the middle of the night."
Sommer said police have no suspects and no descriptions of perpetrators. They are asking anyone with information to call the Anoka County Sheriff's at 763-323-5000.
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