Authorities investigate series of suspicious fires

(ABC 6 News) – Earlier this week, we reported on several fires in Pine Island.

All of the fires occurred within a five-mile radius and all happened within the last two weeks.

There have been three fires that the Pine Island fire department has deemed suspicious, but this has been going on much longer.

Fire officials say there have been 7 to 10 of these suspicious fires in the last 18 months.

The most recent fire that happened on Saturday evening was at a vacant property that had been abandoned for 15 to 20 years.

There was no power source to the property, ruling out an electrical fire.

Other fires have taken place at structures, in fields, and even in ditches along the highway.

RELATED: Suspicious Pine Island fire one of many

“Whether or not they are correlated, we don’t know, but anytime you have fires that are that close together and that proximity, you’ve gotta at least entertain the idea that there could be somebody behind one person behind that or a group of people,” Asst. Chief David Friese said.

One of Pine Islands’ firefighters was taken to the hospital during Saturday night’s fire. But his condition was unrelated to the blaze and he is doing much better.

“After several hours of evaluation in the emergency room, it was concluded that I have a rare heart infection called pericarditis. Slow recovery, but yeah I’m doing better with rest, so yea it’s just one day at a time,” firefighter Taylor Marsh said.

The state fire marshal is helping with the investigation and looking into evidence of an accelerant being used. However, the investigation could take months or even longer.