CALDWELL -- Fire investigators are still working on an arson case that shut down a busy street and threatened homes and businesses in Caldwell on Friday afternoon. As the arson investigation continues, fire officials say they're getting more and more leads, but the suspect still hasn't been caught.
This unidentified suspect is accused of starting four fires all within just a mile on Cleveland Boulevard. Three of the fire starts were near 45th Avenue, and the fourth was near 34th Avenue across from Sonic.
Caldwell Fire Department Fire Marshal Andrew Cater says they very quickly knew the fires were arson. After the first fire started, a witness called 911. Getting subsequent 911 calls on more fires nearby that made him suspect arson.
"We were getting several calls through the city that there were starts down the boulevard, and of course that got our attention that it wasn't just an accidental start of a fire. Somebody actually had to light them from where they're at because there was such a separation between them," Cater said. "We knew just from looking at it that somebody was going down lighting these fires. It just doesn't ignite, the grass, because it wasn't that hot."
Investigators say they've got new information still coming in, including video of the crime happening. In the video, Cater says they can see the person lighting the fires and moving down the street.
"Some of the local businesses have video of a person actually going down the sidewalk here and lighting fires, and we're looking for that individual," Cater said. "We have video of that person riding a bicycle down the street and as he leaves an area, a fire starts."
Police cars and firetrucks headed to the scene also had cameras rolling, so Cater is also checking those tapes to build a case and identify the arsonist.
"It's a world of cameras, and we all have them, so we're just trying to put them all together," Cater said. "That's why we're hoping for anybody else who might have some different information to put the pieces together of that puzzle and hopefully stop this kind of thing from happening."'
If you have any information or photos that might identify the arsonist, call Cater at 455-4703 and leave a message.
Cater says firefighters have had to deal with a few other recent grass fires in Canyon County that are suspicious. At this point, investigators are looking at whether it could be the same suspect in the Cleveland Boulevard case or if perhaps they're dealing with other arsonists.