Arson cold case could re-ignite - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Arson cold case could re-ignite

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Arson investigators are trying to hunt down a person who has been setting fires in east Kennewick. The investigation has gone cold, but this is one cold case that could re-ignite at any time.

On the night of September 2nd, someone walking by the Word of Faith set the playground on fire. Police know this because a surveillance camera caught the flame illuminate the outline of the person in the dark. It was the largest of a half dozen fires in the area in two weeks.

Kennewick Fire Captain, Joe Terpenning says, "it just seems to be someone walking by, taking advantage of the situation, setting what's available on fire with either a match or lighter."

A few small fires broke out in the neighborhood. Arson investigators say typically, fire setters don't stop. The fires only get more frequent and bigger. Seven years ago, someone torched the original playground of dreams in Columbia Park. Police never arrested anyone but arson investigators say it would be premature to try to link the two fires.

Kennewick Fire Marshal, Mark Yaden says, "the fact they're both playground equipment it does make you ask in the back of your mind. There is significant time difference, we just don't know the answer to that."

But investigators say they do know from the past, when they arrest someone for one fire, that person ends up also being responsible for other fires.

"It will escalate, whether it's a large property loss, or loss of life, and of course, every one of these endangers the community, and firefighters and police officers responding as well," says Yaden.

Washington State has a reward fund for people who help police find arsonists. If you think you have information about the fire at the church of faith, or any arson fire, call 1-800-555-ARSON.

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