WATCH: Arsonist strikes the gayborhood

Posted on 11 May 2011 at 5:20pm
This Jeep was destroyed in the parking lot of the apartment complex at 3901 N. Hall St. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

Authorities are looking for a suspect who they believe intentionally set two fires — and attempted to set a third — near the Cedar Springs strip early Wednesday.

The fires broke out around 2 a.m. at 3901 N. Hall St. and 3829 N. Hall St., on either side of Reagan Street less than a block from Cedar Springs. The first fire destroyed a Jeep that was parked in the lot of the apartment complex at 3901 N. Hall St. The suspect also tried to set fire to the apartment complex itself – by sticking a burning item through the front door — but someone extinguished it, according to reports.

Across Reagan Street, a blaze that broke out moments later destroyed the contents of a detached garage and apartment behind a residence at 3829 N. Hall St. No one was living in the second-floor apartment.

A second fire destroyed the contents of a detached garage across Reagan Street at 3829 N. Hall St. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

“They [investigators] do believe that the same person caused all three of these fires,” Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans told Instant Tea today. “They interviewed several witnesses including the owner of the Jeep and his girlfriend and several other witnesses. They have a [suspect] description from credible witnesses that they’re going off of now.”

Evans said investigators aren’t releasing the suspect description or additional information about the blazes. However, he said they don’t believe the fires were set by the driver of a yellow Volkswagen Bug, as suggested earlier by one witness.

Shane Brown, who lives in the apartment complex at 3901 Hall and was awakened by the blazes, said he thinks the incidents may have been a hate crime.

“Most people, even if they’re from out of town, know what area this is,” Brown said. “Something in my gut tells me it was definitely hate-crime orientated, so hopefully they catch them.”

Omar Semper said he owns the house at 3829 N. Hall St. and has lived there with his partner for the last 13 years. He said they used the garage — as well as the upstairs apartment — for storage.

“Everything’s destroyed,” Semper said. “Everything.”

Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 877-373-8477. For more photos from the fires, see our previous post.

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