String of alley arsons leave Long Beach neighborhood on edge after recent fire kills 14 animals

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The quiet, tight-knit community of California Heights in Long Beach is on edge, after a suspected arsonist has set fire to several alleyways this month.

Most recently, a fire set to a large piece of furniture, placed in an alleyway for pick-up the next day, killed 7 rabbits and 7 birds at one family's home.

"My bunnies - they were in the corner near the alleyway fence, and I heard them screaming," said Christian, who lives in the California Heights home with his family.

Christian suffered a second-degree burn while battling the blaze with his father and neighbors. Neighbors say the fire, which started around 5:00AM just four days before Easter Sunday, took down a powerline and ignited the family's car.

"We're all on edge," Christian said. "My mom's freaked out, my dad's keeping watch. We're all in a haze."

The Long Beach Fire Department said there are five reported alleyway arsons in the California Heights neighborhood this month, but some residents say otherwise.

"There have been at least 10 incidents that I know of since April 1," said Paula, who lives five blocks away from Christian.

According to the Long Beach Fire Department, the suspected arsonist is targeting large items, like furniture, left behind in alleyways.

"If there are oversized or overstuffed items, please get those items out of the alleyways. They are a source for fuel," said Long Beach Fire Department spokesperson, Jake Heflin. "A way to do that is to utilize the Go Long Beach app, where you can arrange for special pick-ups."

The alleyway arsons in California Heights are still under investigation. Christian's family is in the process of filing a police report.

Residents with any information are urged to contact the Long Beach Fire Department.
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