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Payette Police investigating three early-morning arsons

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 16:40:11-04

Payette Police are looking for suspects they believe are responsible for two early-morning arsons and one attempted arson.

The first incident was reported about 12:30 a.m. in the 1800 block of 7th Avenue North. A homeowner reported spotting a man pouring gasoline on the exterior of the home. But when the homeowner confronted him, the suspect took off running.

Payette Police Chief Mark Clark says the suspect was believed to be about 190 pounds, about 5-feet 9-inches tall, and wearing glasses. There was no clothing description available.

Police believe there may be more than one suspect, since a witness reports hearing a male yell “Run!” -- presumably to an accomplice -– when the suspect fled.

About twenty minutes later, police were called to a fire at the A&W restaurant on Main Street, about one mile away. Clark said it appears the arsonist broke out a window on the north side of the restaurant, then ignited the fire. The owner tells police the restaurant will likely be closed for at least several days, for repairs.

There was no immediate damage estimate available.

Then, about 5 a.m., a Payette Police officer on patrol spotted flames behind a house in the 1200 block of 2nd Avenue South. “The officer found a pick-up behind the house, fully engulfed,” Clark said.
Fire Department crews arrived and extinguished the fire. Investigators found a window of the vehicle had been smashed.

“We’re looking at evidence and, (in the case of the A&W fire), checking to see if any businesses in the area have surveillance cameras that may have spotted the suspect,” Clark added.

“We believe all three fires are related,” he said “In all cases, an accelerant was used to start the fires.”

Anyone with information about these crimes is urged to call the Payette Police Department at 642-6026.