Arson investigators looking into Davenport fires

Arson investigators are looking into a string of Wednesday night fires, and neighbors say they won’t rest easy until the vandals are caught.

Around 8:30 Wednesday night, Michael Meloche woke to a real life nightmare.

“Woken up by the sound of a horn — very continuous, very loud, and my mind said, ‘Something’s not right.’ I jumped up, I looked out my bedroom window, and my car was burning,” said Meloche.

Meloche quickly realized he wasn’t alone. In total, five fires burned along the alley between Lillie Avenue and Marquette Streets Wednesday night.

Thursday evening, Meloche recalled the scene in his back alley as “chaos,” and said it looked like something from a movie.

“It was just a nightmare on this whole alleyway, with all these fires burning and all these people running around,” said Meloche.

Davenport Fire Marshal Mike Hayman said three cars and two garages were ignited Wednesday night. Most sustained minor damage, but the Meloche’s vehicle was destroyed.

Some neighbors said they’re now even considering installing security cameras.

“Insurance is one thing, but that car — Nancy and I worked hard for that car, to keep it and maintain it. You feel totally violated,” said Meloche. “We really love the house and the neighborhood, but this happening now… I’m not thinking good thoughts about staying.”

All five fires remain under investigation by Davenport Fire arson investigators and Davenport police officers. Thursday evening, officers were still on scene looking for fingerprints.

Hayman urged residents in the area to stay alert.

“Be aware. This was a fairly early time. It is dark at that time, but 8:30 is still fairly early. Make sure you lock your vehicles and your garages,” said Hayman.

There were no injuries from the fires.

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