Arsonist sets 6 City of Bellingham vehicles on fire

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Bellingham police are on the hunt for an arsonist, after someone set several city trucks on fire. Those who live nearby are now afraid the arsonist could come back to cause more damage.

On the morning after the Fourth of July celebrations in Bellingham, those living near the city’s parking lot along B Street didn’t think twice when they heard another boom early Tuesday morning.

“At first, I thought it was just fireworks that had been going on all night, and then we looked out and saw a pretty big blaze,” said Chad Gale, who lives across the street from the scene.

Bellingham police say someone set six city-owned work trucks on fire, destroying at least one of them.

“The fuel door was open, the gas cap was hanging and there was just black char all the way around and up into this lid,” said Bellingham Police Lt. Bob Vander Yacht.

Investigators say they don’t know who is responsible or why, but they’re following every lead.

“This is absolutely intentional,” said Yacht. “We’re certainly not excluding the idea that someone had some sort of a grudge with the city or even more directly with the engineering department, but we’re not ready to rule anything out yet.”

Neighbors like John Tallahan are now concerned their property could be the next target.

“It’s a scary thing because you can’t be awake all the time, and when you hear a noise now, what are you going to do? Jump?” asked Tallahan.

Even worse, he fears next time someone will get hurt.

“You have to be real careful because you play with fire and you’re going to get burned,” said Tallahan.

Police say the next step in the investigation is to canvas the neighborhood and see if anyone might have some information that could help.