Police investigate 7 suspicious fires in Elkhorn

Fires started in dumpsters and apartment complexes
Posted at 6:11 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 19:11:23-04

Police in Elkhorn are investigating a string of suspicious fires at apartment complexes and in dumpsters.

The fires have all happened within the last two months. The most recent fire happened at an apartment complex located at 821 Gorman St. on Sunday night.

"You're messing with people's lives," said Darcy Manka who recently moved into that apartment complex.

She showed us a melted trash can that was removed from her laundry room where the fire apparently started.

It's the second time a fire has started at her complex in the last two weeks.

"This is unsafe for our community and this is such a good town," Manka said. "There's a lot of kids here and I just I hope they catch him I really do."

Police are investigating a total of seven suspicious fires within the last two months, at various locations across the city.

Three fires happened in dumpsters, including one at an apartment complex where the manager says the fire also damaged a nearby parked car.

The majority of the fires happened late at night or in the overnight hours.

Three of the fires happened in laundry rooms of apartment buildings according to residents.

Josh Hetz says he and his roommates were evacuated from their building.

"Thankfully no one was hurt, it wasn't a big thing, but it's just scary to be woken up late at night to 'Oh your apartment's on fire’," he said. 

Police say the fires happened at the following locations and times:

  • Dumpster fire at 1 W. Walworth St on March 28 at 11:41 p.m.
  • Structure fire at 104 W. Court St. on March 29 at 12:16 a.m.
  • Structure fire at 445 Hartwell St. on April 22 at 11:17 a.m.
  • Dumpster fire at 917 Gorman St. on April 25 at 1:52 a.m.
  • Structure fire at 801 Gorman St. on April 26 at 2:21 p.m.
  • Dumpster fire at 112 Ridgeway Ct. on May 7 at 9:28 p.m.
  • Structure fire at 821 Gorman St. on May 7 at 10:18 p.m.

Authorities are offering up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Thomas Bushey at the Elkhorn Police Department at 262-723-2210. You can also call Walworth County Crime Stoppers at 262-723-2677 or the Arson Hotline at 1-800-362-3005. You can remain anonymous. 

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