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Stevens Point garage fire linked to string of arsons

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) – A garage fire in Stevens Point is connected to a series of 20 unsolved arson fires dating back to 2008, a police detective confirmed Friday.

Detective Tony Zblewski said the fire in the 2200 block of Sims Avenue early Saturday has “enough similarities that we believe they are connected – from the location to the time of day to the specific facts of the fire.”

The homeowner had just returned home from a friend's house when she smelled smoke and saw something bright outside. She discovered the fire in the back wall of the garage and started to put it out until firefighters arrived and finished the job. Zblewski said the garage would have been a total loss had the fire not been caught sooner.

Police say the arsonist hasn't intentionally set a blaze since March. Detectives have made the state fire marshal and division of criminal investigations aware of the latest fire. But none of them are sure of exactly who is setting the fires.

“The profile is not as specific as we would like,” Zblewski said. “Profiling isn't as exact as Hollywood would tend it to be.”

Zblewski encouraged residents to remove combustibles that an arsonist could use to start a fire. “Being aware of what's going on around – that awareness and overall keeping things locked up is a good set of rules to go by,” he said.

 

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