SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 12, 2012

Suspicious Salem fires under investigation

SALEM — The Fire and Police departments are investigating two suspicious fires, one that ignited a vehicle and another that involved a Molotov cocktail-type device.

Fire personnel were called to the area of Salem’s Old Fashioned Candies, 93 Canal St., just before 8 p.m. Monday.

They found a small fire burning in a parking area, on the ground, that had not spread to any buildings, Deputy Chief Gerry Giunta said.

“On further investigation, I saw a bottle with a rag stuffed in it — a Molotov cocktail-type thing,” Giunta said.

The device was pretty much intact. Although ignited, it looked like it had been dropped and not thrown, he said.

At 10:15 p.m., firefighters were called to a car fire in a black Lincoln Aviator in front of 47 Washington Square North.

The fire had started in the back-seat interior of the Aviator, Giunta said. The vehicle was parked and locked, and the front driver’s-side window had been broken.

“It’s obviously suspicious in nature because of where the fire started,” he said.

A witness who called in the fire reported hearing a noise — possibly the window being broken — before noticing smoke in the vehicle, Giunta said. The Lincoln Aviator is registered to an out-of-town owner, he said.

Neither of Monday evening’s fires caused any injuries.

The fires don’t seem to be connected, Giunta said, because they’re different in nature.

The Canal Street fire did not cause any property damage, Giunta said. It was small enough that it burned out on its own.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, Salem firefighters extinguished a car fire in a Jeep Cherokee at the Salem Willows. The Jeep fire seemed to have been electrical and is not suspicious, Giunta said. The Jeep’s driver pulled over after noticing smoke coming from the vehicle’s vents around 3:20 p.m.

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