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Arsonist suspected in South City car fires

Residents of South San Francisco received a fiery wake-up call when a suspected arsonist set fire to at least three parked cars in the early hours of Monday morning.

An initial series of fires was set around 2:30 a.m. near Eucalyptus and Grand Avenues, where police say two cars were lit ablaze by a suspected arsonist.

Resident Joseph Duran, neighbor to one of the victims, told CBS-SF he was awakened by a series of suspicious sounds coming from out front of his house.

Duran, who called himself a light sleeper, alerted 911 then made a valiant effort to save a small truck with a garden hose and a fire extinguisher.

Duran told CBS-SF his actions were spurred by the potential threat to his family’s safety:

“The way those cars blew up could’ve started our house on fire with the kids inside, so I had a lot to think about.”

Police said a dark blue or black sedan similar to a Ford Crown Victoria or Buick LeSabre was seen in the area around the time of the fires, though it is unknown if it belongs to the perpetrator.

Just over an hour later, the third and final car was set ablaze, this time occurring on the first block of Oak Avenue, police said.

No one was injured by the fires, and there was no damage to surrounding buildings.

Police said the suspect is a male in his 20s with shoulder length-hair, and is described as wearing a light-colored baseball hat and a light-colored long-sleeved shirt.

Anyone with information regarding either the fires, or the suspect, is urged to call Officer Selig at at (650) 877-8900, or the anonymous tip line at (650) 952-2244.

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