Neighbors frightened after suspicious fires destroy cars, garage on property

SUMMIT, N.Y.  (NEWS10) – Fire investigators are looking into a series of fires in less than a week, all on the same property.

Flames broke out at the home off Baldwin Road in the Town of Summit just before 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials say it’s going to be a busy day for them. They tell NEWS10 they’re not going anywhere until they find out how these fires were started.

Around 1:45 a.m. firefighters in Schoharie County shot out of bed to fight three separate fires on one single property.

“I was the first one on the scene found two vehicles on fire opposite sides of the property; garage partially engulfed,” said Chief Donald Clarke with the Summit Fire Department.

But Chief Clarke says as soon as he got the call he knew something was up. Just three nights ago he was woken up right around the same time and sent to the same address.

“We also had a fire here last Friday night so this is a major event. I immediately called for an investigation,” said Chief Clarke.

With the loss of her vehicle on Friday, the owner tells me she had to get a rental. On Tuesday she woke up to find that too had been destroyed, along with a jeep parked down the driveway. Those flames firefighters say latched onto their garage and spread. A fire burning so hot, crews had to return hours later to spray down a wall still smoldering.

“Inside the barn we had oxyacetylene and several propane tanks. So that was a major cause of concern,” said Chief Clarke.

While the investigation is still in its preliminary stages, fire investigators say each have similarities appearing to have started in the back of the vehicle near the gas tank.

What’s still not clear is who could’ve done this and why.

The house is OK and wasn’t affected by the fire. The owners say they’re scared and want answers.

The fire chief tells NEW10 ABC he was called to this same property on Friday for a car fire. As soon as call came in Tuesday morning, he called investigators.

Since Friday three vehicles have been torched, including a rental they got after the first incident, and a large garage. Now the investigation into how these fires were started and who did it is underway.

Everyone inside the home adjacent is OK, but the family says they are scared. They were sleeping when the fire started and don’t know why four things have been set on fire on their property within days.

This is a developing story. NEWS10 will keep you updated.

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