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.
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-DecemberAccording 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.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.