Oneonta Investigates More Suspicious Fires

By Lindsay Nielsen

April 16, 2012 Updated Apr 16, 2012 at 6:10 PM EDT

Oneonta, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Oneonta Police and Fire Departments investigate a rash of suspicious fires over the weekend.

The suspicious fires started in Oneonta Friday evening at a garage at 17 8th Street.

The fire spread, damaging part of another home and a neighbor's garage.

On Saturday morning, Firefighters were called to an office building on Dietz Street.

As crews were finishing up at that scene, another call for a fully involved structure fire brought firefighters to a vacant house at 1 Fair Street.

A house next door was also damaged.

Three people were in the home next door at the time of the fire, but all got out safely.

Ten outside agencies provided mutual aid throughout the weekend, including crews from Cooperstown EMS, and the Delhi Fire Department.

"All of the firemen were very tired obviously after several hours of working back to back fires, something that hasn't occurred in several years here," says Oneonta Fire Chief, Patrick Pidgeon.

Officials are also investigating four other minor incidents of fires or attempted fires that occurred on Saturday and Sunday night.

Neighbors who spoke with Action News say they're afraid, but police are on high alert.

"All of our officers are remaining highly vigilant, if something looks out of place or a person looks out of place that person may be question if they're in a place that they shouldn't be at an odd time and they don't have an answer for that why they are there, yes we are keeping our antennas up," says Lt. Dennis Nayor with the Oneonta Police Department.

At this time, investigators believe all of the fires and attempted fires are connected and were set intentionally, but they have not yet classified them as arson.

The investigation is still open.

The City is offering a $5,000 reward for information which could lead to an arrest.

Police are asking for your help, if you have any information you can call Oneonta Police at 432-1111.