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Garage fire may be another arson

A garage fire Wednesday morning marked the latest in a series of suspicious fires that has plagued Spokane’s West Central neighborhood in recent months.

The fire, at 2615 W. Mallon Ave., was human-caused and is suspicious, said Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department.

When firefighters arrived after 4:30 a.m., the detached garage’s doors were open and the inside was aflame, the SFD said.

Resident Jeanette Greer said she typically leans a tire against the doors because they don’t latch well, but the tire had been moved when she discovered the blaze.

“I took my dogs out at 5 a.m. and the garage was on fire,” she said.

One of her sons saw a man, dressed in tan pants and a black leather jacket, running away down the alley, Greer said. Greer said another of her sons may have started the fire because he is angry with his parents. Seven years ago, he threatened to burn down the house.

It was too early to tell Wednesday whether the fire was connected to more than a dozen suspicious fires that have afflicted the West Central neighborhood since late spring, Schaeffer said. Officials have made one arrest in connection to just one of the fires.

Wednesday morning, firefighters and police cruised the area within walking distance of Greer’s home, questioning several neighbors but not gaining any leads, Schaeffer said. Some people mentioned a suspicious-looking couple, but they were cleared when Spokane police said the pair was in a different location when the fire was reported.

Anyone with information about the fires in the West Central neighborhood should call the arson hotline at (800) 552-7766. A $10,000 reward is offered.