Three Fires at SJ's Kelley Park Considered Suspicious

Three separate fires sparked about the same time at San Jose's Kelley Park Tuesday night, are now being investigated as suspicious.

By Lisa Fernandez and Kris Sanchez
|  Thursday, Jul 12, 2012  |  Updated 7:28 AM PDT
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Firefighters responded to vegetation fires in San Jose's Kelley Park Tuesday night, a fire dispatcher said. The fires were extinguished and arson is suspected.

Firefighters responded to vegetation fires in San Jose's Kelley Park Tuesday night, a fire dispatcher said. The fires were extinguished and arson is suspected.

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Three separate fires sparked about the same time at San Jose's Kelley Park Tuesday night, are now being investigated as suspicious.

Gina Aning, San Jose Parks and Recreation facility supervisor and Kelley Park general manager, said Wednesday that she suspects all three blazes started from the many homeless encampments scattered near the popular park.

Three grass fires were  reported Tuesday - all just before 9 p.m. About ten acres of grass were burned, and no one was hurt.

But Aning said there have been a total of six small fires at the park in the last week; some of which were small and were able to be put out by park officials.

Kelley Park is 156 acres, located at the intersections of Story and Senter roads in the eastern part of San Jose. It is home to Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, the Japanese Friendship Garden, History Park, the Portuguese Historical Museum and the Viet Museum.

The grassy lawns, natural setting and nearby creek also makes the spot popular with homeless people. Aning guessed that at least 100 homeless people camp out near the park.

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