NEWS RELEASE   6/28/2011

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Flint, Michigan - June 21, 2011 - The Flint Fire Department responded to nine house fires in a five hour span during the overnight hours between June 20th and 21st. Arson is suspected in all nine fires which were set in vacant houses, just blocks apart, in a Flint eastside neighborhood. Fire departments from Burton, Davison, Genesee Township and Mt. Morris assisted the Flint Fire Department.

During a news conference this afternoon Public Safety Director Alvern Lock announced the arrest of one person in connection with the fires. "We arrested a suspect this afternoon that we believe may be responsible for five of the arson fires from last night." said Chief Lock. He attributes the arrest to residents who provided information. "There were several people who came forward and provided us with information that led to this arrest. I encourage anyone with information about any crime to share that information with us. You never know how that information can be used to lead us to a suspect."

Prior to the news conference Mayor Dayne Walling got a first hand view of the destruction left in the wake of the fires. In the 1500 block of New York Avenue the Mayor spoke with a woman who lives next door to two vacant houses destroyed in the overnight arson fires. "This is horrible," the Mayor told the woman. "Arson is illegal, it is destructive and it is dangerous. It is hard to imagine why someone would purposely set fires, putting the lives of innocent people and our firefighters in danger. None of us will have a peaceful night's sleep until those responsible for the arsons in our community are arrested and behind bars," said Mayor Walling.

The fires are under investigation. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Flint Police Department at (810) 237-6901.

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