Police probe spate of fires on Northampton bike path

  • A section of the bike path under the Jackson Street Bridge in Northampton, where police say they encountered one of four suspicious fires between June 3 and June 27, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/DUSTY CHRISTENSEN

Staff Writer
Published: 6/27/2019 3:56:13 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Police are asking residents to be vigilant after what they called a series of suspicious fires along the bike path between Jackson and Stoddard streets.

That’s according to Chief Jody Kasper, who detailed four different fires in a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon — all in the same general area — that officers have responded to from June 3 to June 27.

“Members of the Fire Investigation Unit are conducting a joint investigation into these fires,” Kasper wrote, encouraging anyone with more information to contact the police department’s detective bureau. “Further, we would encourage anyone who walks or bikes in this area to be vigilant about any suspicious activity.”

The first fire occurred just after midnight June 3, when police responded to an area of the bike path underneath the Jackson Street bridge for a report of a “small, smoldering fire,” Kasper said. That same morning at 4:43 a.m., officers responded to a second small brush fire behind 265 Prospect St., she said.

“On June 19, 2019, at 12:55 p.m., officers took a report that involved one of the bikes at the docking station located at State and Stoddard streets,” Kasper wrote. “The bicycle had been set on fire and was heavily damaged.”

On Thursday morning at 3:42 a.m., police found another bike on fire at that same bike docking station, Kasper said.

“A nearby tree was also on fire,” Kasper said, and members of NPD’s Crime Scene Services Unit responded to the scene.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.
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