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One or more arsonists are being sought in the rash of set fires in the Woodstock neighborhood area

COURTESY OF GENE DIERINGER - In the darkness of the same morning as the Woodstock newsstand fires, a parked Chrysler 200 sedan was set ablaze along S.E. 72nd Avenue, near Martins Street. An arsonist moved along S.E. Woodstock Boulevard in the early morning hours of Thursday, January 7, lighting several scattered plastic newspaper newsstands on fire in the early morning hours of January 7 along S.E Woodstock Boulevard from 52nd to 44th Avenues. The newspapers in the newsstands burned included the Portland Tribune, an Asian newspaper, and THE BEE. Portland Fire and Rescue responded – and these fires were also covered by local TV news.

COURTESY OF KPTV-12 NEWS - Newsstands for THE BEE and the Portland Tribune, on the sidewalk by Papaccinos Coffee Shop near 44th and S.E. Woodstock, burned after being torched by an arsonist early on January 7. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) responded to the first fire at 1:11 a.m. that morning – and to another fire, in front of Papaccino's Coffee Shop, at 1:46 a.m.

Although firefighters said they found the newsstands "fully involved in fire", it didn't take them long to extinguish each blaze – but by then the boxes had completely melted into a puddle of plastic and metal. A metal Willamette Week newsstand at Papaccino's was singed by the nearby fires, with paint peeling off.

PF&R officials told reporters these arsons were "under investigation".

What was not widely reported was that also on January 7, at 5:52 a.m., a Chrysler 200 sedan was set fire along S.E. 72nd Avenue near Martins Street.

Arson string started in mid-December

COURTESY OF GENE DIERINGER - In mid-December, an arsonist set fire to this cardboard recycling bin - here shown burning behind a Woodstock Boulevard business office. According to Gene Dieringer of Dieringer's Properties, Inc., arson fires actually started in December.

"On December 15, a cardboard recycling bin was lit on fire on next to Woodstock Tax Service," Dieringer said. "And, another cardboard recycling bin was set ablaze on Christmas – December 25 – that is used by Papaccino's and Papa Murphy's. So, it appears we certainly have an arsonist in the neighborhood." Both those fires were on Woodstock Boulevard between 44th and 46th Avenues.

THE BEE has learned from the Portland Police Bureau that surveillance video has given them a potential lead in the case, but no further details were available as we went to press for February.


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