Police arrest 2 following rash of vehicle fires

This photo taken on June 18, 2015 show a Richards Bakery Delivery van that was damaged after someone set it on fire overnight.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Two people were interviewed and arrested early Thursday morning after a string of vehicle fires northwest of downtown. Several victims are now trying to figure out what to do with their charred cars.

Firefighters were called to multiple locations shortly after 1 a.m. after a series of reports about vehicles being set on fire.

Crews responded to five different locations and extinguished fires for six vehicles.

Photo gallery | String of vehicle fires 

The locations included:

  • 500 block West Fourth Street
  • 700 block West Fourth Street
  • 1300 block Marion Street
  • 1500 block Andrew Street
  • 1100 block Wells Street (Richard’s Bakery parking lot)

Patrick O’Sullivan owns Richard’s Bakery and Big Apple Pizza on Wells. Suspects targeted his delivery van around 1:00 a.m. directly in front of his security camera. Surveillance footage shows two men trying to break into his business. The suspects then opened the 2006 Uplander, went inside, and set the drivers seat on fire.

As the suspects began to walk away, an employee and friend arrived to make donuts. They chased off the suspects and threw buckets of water on the van. Emergency crews soon arrived and put the fire out. Click here to see exclusive surveillance video from the Richard’s Bakery.

“I don’t think they targeted us. I just think we were the unlucky one for the night,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s almost like they did it for fun.”

Around 2 a.m., police stopped to talk with two individuals and later detained them on suspicions of setting the fires. The Fort Wayne Fire Department has not yet released the names of the suspects.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fires.

Residents along Fourth Street said they were awakened by the fires. Electric company crews were on scene for downed power lines in the alley near the vehicles. Kathy Colpetzer showed NewsChannel 15 her daughter’s SUV near that alley Thursday afternoon. Only a charred shell of the vehicle remained.

The incidents remain under investigation.

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