East Bay

Antioch Residents on Edge Following Rash of Suspected Arson Fires

Antioch residents are on edge after a rash of suspected arson fires.

Somebody is setting cars on fire in the East Bay city and in one case nearly cost two people their lives, officials said.

"We can't go to bed to sleep without worrying, 'Is someone going to burn your property up?'" resident Linda Hudson said.

Hudson woke up early Thursday to find her own car on fire right in front of her home. The flames burned a tire before she put it out with a garden hose.

"Right in front of the tire was an aerosol can wrapped in rags," Hudson said.

A neighbor's pickup truck suffered the same fate early Saturday morning. Maria Pacheco said her husband's truck that he uses to get to his landscaping jobs was completely engulfed.

For resident Fukayna Ward, the suspected arson was nearly deadly. Somebody set her car ablaze in her driveway two week ago. It quickly spread to her apartment, trapping Ward and her 8-year-old granddaughter inside.

"We were so scared and paralyzed because when I looked out my front door, my walkway was on fire," Ward said. "My granddaughter and I literally had to run through fire barefoot to escape. It was terrifying."

That same morning another care fire took place a few blocks away. Contra Costa County fire investigators said they are working with police to figure out if the cases are linked. They say there has been a noticeable uptick in suspicious fires and are asking for the public's help.

Meanwhile, the victims are dealing with the aftermath and they are scared.

Anyone with information on the fires in the Antioch area is asked to call the arson tip line at 866-50-ARSON (27766).

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