Arsons destroy vacant buildings on Peoria’s south side

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PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Peoria’s fire chief says five arsons over about 24 hours have destroyed vacant buildings within a half-mile of one another on the city’s south side.

Chief Chuck Lauss says the only characteristic shared among the fires was that each was deliberately set. He tells the Journal Star ( ) it’s not clear how many people are responsible.

Firefighters were called out to the fires from about noon Wednesday until just before 1 p.m. Thursday. Three were at houses, including two that have been demolished. Another fire struck a three-story building that formerly housed a church. Fire officials say a detached garage also was set ablaze, and its flames spread to another garage, destroying both.

Tiffany Williams, who lives next to one house that burned, says she hopes authorities catch whoever’s responsible.

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