Two Suspicious Fires Set in Salem Overnight
Salem police and fire officials are currently investigating two suspicious fires that were set in the city overnight.
Deputy Fire Chief Gerry Giunta said fire investigators haven't announced whether the two incidents are related - but did say both were being considered suspicious.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m., local police and firefighters responded to 93 Canal St. for a report of a small fire in the rear of the building.
When they arrived on scene, firefighters reportedly found a glass bottle with a rag in it burning on the ground.
Police Lt. Mary Butler said the initial call came from a resident in a building across the street, who reported seeing a "youth who had a bottle with a rag in it set the thing on fire."
Rather than put the fire out, Deputy Fire Chief Gerry Giunta said local firefighters opted to let the bottle burn itself out.
"When we got to the scene there wasn't much of a fire left," Giunta said. "It looks like the bottle was dropped, rather than thrown - because it wasn't broken into a lot of little pieces."
Although the incident didn't result in any damage to the nearby buildings, Giunta noted that it could have been much worse.
"If that bottle was broken against a wood building, it could have been substantial," Giunta said.
The glass bottle was reportedly recovered from the scene and taken by investigators as evidence.
At 11:15 p.m., police and fire units were called to the scene of a vehicle fire outside of 47 Washington Square.
Giunta said it appeared that someone set a fire in the backseat of a parked 2003 Lincoln Aviator and smashed a window when they noticed it wasn't catching quickly.
"It didn't get going as well as someone probably had wanted it to and I think the window might have been broken for ventilation," Giunta said.
Firefighters reportedly found the vehicle locked when they arrived, and after smashing a window to gain entry, they extinguished the blaze using water from Engine 1.
Extinguishing the Washington Square fire were Lt. Wayne Silva, firefighter Doug Sanville and firefighter Sean Edge.
Salem Patch will be posting additional information as it becomes available.