Suspicious fires damage 5 houses in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities are investigating two suspicious fires overnight, one that destroyed four houses in the city’s Northside neighborhood.

The first fire broke out late Tuesday night on W. North Street between Woodward and Staples avenues. At least six fire trucks responded.

Fire officials tell News 8 that three of the homes were abandoned. An 84-year-old woman was displaced from her home of more than 40 years. All are considered total losses.

A fifth house received minor damage from the heat of the fire, according to a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety news release.

Officials say the fire started in a home that was vacant, which is why they are calling it suspicious.

A firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion. No one else was hurt.

The North Street fire is only a few blocks from where another fire broke out at a vacant building early Tuesday on Paterson Street between Douglas and Staples avenues. That fire was labeled suspicious. It is too early to draw a connection between the fires.

Investigators believe a second fire that broke out at a vacant house in the Edison neighborhood early Wednesday morning is suspicious as well.

A fire damaged a vacant house on Stockbridge Avenue in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Authorities were called shortly after 1 a.m. to the second house fire on Stockbridge Avenue between Portage and Race streets. When they got to the scene, the house was fully engulfed in flames but firefighters were able to stop it from spreading to nearby structures, according to a KDPS news release.

Anyone with information on the suspicious fires is asked to call KDPS at 269.337.8994 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.