Police Investigating Trend of Fires in Norwich

There have been three fires in the last week in downtown Norwich and authorities are investigating whether they were arson.

Norwich officials said fire happened in a vacant building.

On Oct. 19, a mattress was found on fire next to a shed behind a home on East Main Street. Then on Oct. 23, the second floor of an old mill on Chestnut Street went up in flames. Most recently, this past Sunday, firefighters battled flames on the second floor of the vacant YMCA building on Main Street.

There is no electricity in either of the vacant buildings and fire officials believe a group of people may have started the fires. But they do not know if they are related.

Fire officials are hoping downtown's camera system can help clarify that.

“We’re able to see many of the streets 24 hours a day and it has become a very important part of our investigation we do have people on camera but that’s under investigation right now,” said Norwich Fire Chief Kenneth Scandariato.

Scandariato said they have even created a task force between Norwich firefighters, fire marshals and police officers.

As the investigation continues, many vacant buildings are being re-secured. The buildings where the three fires happened have been boarded up and signs of a $2,500 reward has been posted for those who have information leading to an arrest.

"We’re not going to qualify it as Arson yet, but you know… it’s incendiary and chances are it will be prove to be arson as well," said Scandariato.

If you have information call the Norwich Police Department or the Connecticut Arson Hotline 1-800-842-7766.

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