JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Police Department is continuing its investigation into a rash of arsons that took place late last week in the city.
Between late Wednesday morning and early Saturday morning, Jamestown Fire fighters responded to six different fire calls – all of which were reportedly at vacant and/or condemned homes and which were intentionally set.
Jamestown police chief Harry Snellings told WRFA Monday that investigators are continuing to follow up on leads, while also reminding the public that if they’ve saw anything to please report it.
“We’ve gotten numerous tips and since Saturday, we’ve been working to review everything that’s come in, including video, and just trying to narrow down our focus,” Snellings said. “We’ve interviewed multiple people and have eliminated some people who were potential suspects and we’re just continuing to follow through on leads. I’d like to encourage our community members to send in anything they think may be important, anything they saw during that night, and any tips they may have.”
Snellings also said reminds the public to remain vigilant and keep an eye out for anything that may be suspicious.
“Anytime you see something that looks out of place, make sure you call. We have additional resources that are out right now, focusing on the north side, but regardless of where it is in the city you see something, let us know,” Snellings said.
Jamestown Firefighters were called to a home on Winsor Street last Wednesday after a report of smoke coming from inside. Due to damp conditions, the fire wasn’t able to spread. It was a different story early Thursday night, when an unoccupied home on Sixth St. was set on fire. Then just over 24 hours later on Friday night, a string of four fires took place on the city’s north side – again at homes that were unoccupied. No one was injured in any of the incidents, but it was exhausting work for fire fighters as they moved from one scene to the next.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said the city will use all resources in its power to investigate and find the person or persons responsible.
“This is serious business and we’re dealing with it with all due haste. There’s no resource that is not being utilized at this point and time to find those that are responsible and to hold them accountable for their actions,” Teresi said. “It’s about time that arson, which has become a scourge in this community over the years, is treated as the severe situation that it is.”
The mayor also said that when the city is forced to deal with arsons, its creates a public safety issue for a number of reasons.
“It puts the lives of real citizens in imminent danger. It puts the lives of our first responders in danger, and it also puts a lot of other folks in the community in danger, when our entire EMS Corps in the city and around the city – is engaged in putting out four mindless arson fires simultaneously. That means there are a lot of other people in this community that may be having medical emergencies that do not have the personnel available to them to respond,” The mayor said.
During Monday night’s Jamestown City Council meeting, several council members, including Kim Ecklund, Tony Dolce, Marie Carrubba and Vicki James each expressed their concern over the arsons, along with their thanks to the fire and police departments for their excellent work in dealing with the matter.
Anyone with information on any of arsons is asked to call 9-1-1 or leave an anonymous tip with the Jamestown Police Department at 483-TIPS (8477).