Several fires reported in Milwaukee's Uptown neighborhood, suspect arrested

NOW: Several fires reported in Milwaukee’s Uptown neighborhood, suspect arrested

Updated: June 24, 2024

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee police say they've made an arrest in connection to 16 different fires. 

A 35-year-old has been arrested, according to police, with criminal charges being referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office. 

The 16 fires broke out across 11 different scenes near 49th and North, and 9th and Center on June 18. 

Published: June 18, 2024

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee fire and police are investigating a string of fires that happened Tuesday morning, June 18.

Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski said his department responded to 11 different scenes between 7:30 am and 11 a.m., for a total of 16 individual fires.

Those fire scenes ranged from piles of rubbish, garbage carts, and buildings.

The string of fires began in two places, near 49th and North Avenue and 9th and Center Street.

Chief Lipski said the majority of the fires started on piles of rubbish, which then spread to houses.

"We implore whoever is doing this to cease this activity," Lipski said in a press conference Tuesday.

Four houses were involved - two occupied and two vacant.

"For somebody to be going around spreading fires, that's bogus. People work hard for their stuff," said Milwaukee resident Marlena Moore.

Moore and her children were in their house near 49th and Center Street when a fire broke out.

"It sounded like somebody like throwing some fireworks, like pat-pat-pat. And we just had to get me and my kids and my dog out," Moore said.

Lipski said that fire started in rubbish between Moore's house and a vacant house next door.

"The areas that whoever is responsible for this has chosen is uniquely susceptible to fire spread given the close spacing of these homes, the wood-framed cladding and exterior of these homes," Lipski said.

No residents were injured in any of the fires. One firefighter sustained a minor injury.

Right now, officials don't have any suspects.

"I fear that this could be something as simple as just vandalism turned into arson," Lipski said.

The American Red Cross is assisting about 20 people affected by the fires.

The Milwaukee Police Department and fire department are asking anyone with information to contact them.

There is a $5,000 reward offered through the Wisconsin Arson Investigation Hotline for any credible tips that lead to an arrest. That number is 1-800 362-3005.

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