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8 suspected arson fires erupt in San Bernardino

Damage on a motor home in San Bernardino is seen after eight suspected arson fires erupted on Monday, June 3, 2013.

June 3, 2013 12:43:03 AM PDT
Authorities say eight suspected arson fires erupted in a six-block area in San Bernardino early Monday morning.

According to fire officials, crews responded to 33rd and G streets at 3:25 a.m. and found a debris fire in the backyard of a vacant house. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.

After putting the fire out, they noticed a carport that went up in flames, and then a small grass fire.

The arsonist then climbed up a hill and set two other fires at a gazebo and a motorhome, which suffered an estimated $50,000 in damages. The homeowners say they were asleep at the time of the fire and received a phone call from the fire department about the blaze.

They got up and helped put out the gazebo fire with a garden hose, and then firefighters knocked down the blaze at the motorhome.

The arsonist then set two more fires shortly after that. Investigators say all the fires happened within 30 minutes of each other. "We're very lucky no one was hurt," said Jason Buchanan of the San Bernardino City Fire Department. "There was a potential for these multiple fires to cause a lot of damage, including deaths to residents."

Investigators have taken a woman in her 40s in custody in connection to the fires. Police say she might be mentally unstable.