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Neighbors think fires could be attempt to move project along


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Seven fires on one block in two weeks. What are police in Ogden doing to stop the burn? The police and fire departments believe the fires are intentionally set. They say they are doing everything possible to catch the person responsible.

The house at 1880 Child's Ave. is just the latest target in the area considered the River Parkway project. Most of the homes are boarded up and will eventually be torn down and the land redeveloped. One resident we spoke to this morning thinks this is someone's way of moving the project along.

Cindy Jensen said, "My theory is we have all this demolition that is suppose to be done, but it only goes so far and then it stops. I think someone is doing this to get them to finally clear out this mess that we have here."

According to Ogden City Fire, there have been nine fires in the River Parkway area since May; seven of those fires have been in the past 14 days. There has been one on Childs Avenue, four on Kiesel Avenue and two on Grand Avenue.

Fire officials say they have spent more than $100,000 fighting the fires, most of that money spent on manpower alone.

Many of the previous homeowners and neighbors are asking why 24-hour surveillance video has not been posted in the area, given the time frame. Ogden fire says if you post someone there, the arsonist will wait until that person leaves.

Ogden Deputy Fire Chief Chad Tucker said, "We're coming into this area with a lot of force. We have a lot of officers that the police department says is driving through there, so we've beefed up security in the area. But to post some there at this time is not really reasonable at this point."

Tucker says that there are several different developers that are part of the River Parkway project, but none of them is being looked at as being part of the fires. He says the companies would have nothing to gain by setting the fires.

E-mail: spark@ksl.com

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Shara Park

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