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Fire Officials: String Of Fires In Forest Hills Appear Suspicious

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Queens neighborhood is on edge amid half a dozen suspicious fires that have popped up, mostly at home construction sites.

As CBS2's Steve Langford reported, the fear and suspicion in Forest Hills over the last month is spreading like flames.

"Two of those fires now have been determined to be incendiary. We are investigating all of them," said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

The pattern: mostly homes under construction in a predominately Jewish neighborhood -- something that cannot fail to conjure up a never-too-distant history, Langford reported.

"We don't know the person that is doing this. We don't know the motive. We don't know what's going on. That's what makes it so worrisome," said Forest Hills resident Mikhala Stein.

There are many large homes being built in the neighborhood, which means a lot of potential targets, Langford reported.

"People building new houses and somebody didn't like it maybe?" said Boris Abdurakhmanov, who identified himself as a construction manager.

Abdurakhmanov said he's on a constant lookout.

"That's why I'm here all the time, because we worry about it," he said.

In one case, a suspicious fire erupted at a home construction site and spread, causing serious damage to the homes on both sides.

"Langford: Was there accelerant used? I believe that in two of the cases, that is the case," said Nigro.

Investigators reportedly have at least one surveillance video showing a man entering a construction site.

The FDNY is now joined by the NYPD in the investigation of possible serial arson. So far, there have been no injuries reported.


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