Four back-to-back fires being investigated in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – After a string of four back-to-back garage fires Saturday night, the South Bend Fire Battalion Chief is warning juveniles that criminal mischief in these dry conditions could have some serious consequences.

“In the back of my sister’s house there was a grass fire," said Kaley Street neighbor Qwanell Wafford.

Wafford says he was shocked when he went outside and saw the garage next door in flames, but not as shocked as he was seeing a second fire one street over.

“There was another little small fire over here," said Wafford.

“They would be putting out one trash fire and they would be dispatched to another trash fire”, said Battalion Chief David Maenhout.

Maenhout says these nuisance trash fires were started by some mischievous kids.

“Generally, we attribute it to juveniles just messing around," said Maenhout.

But the chief said these kids do not realize how fast these trash fires can spread in these dry conditions.

“We have had incident in the county where small trash fires like that did end up burning houses down," said Maenhout.

Not to mention the amount of resources firefighters use on these nuisance trash fires that could be going to people who really need help.

“If we are putting out a nuisance trash fire and someone has a heart attack a couple of blocks down, we have to send another truck and that can delay treatment to the patient," said Maenhout.

The chief said parents need to keep their kids out of this fiery mischief, because arson is no joke.

“They need to be cognizant of what their children are doing and realize there is a curfew and they need to expect that and adhere to that," said Maenhout.

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