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Arsonist May Be Behind Back Alley Fires In East End

Police believe a firebug may be responsible for a string of early morning fires set in back alleys in an east end neighbourhood.

The first blaze reportedly started around 4am Wednesday at 1180 Gerrard St. E., near Greenwood Ave. Within 17 minutes, officers said, someone lit two more fires within a four-block radius.

“I’d never seen flames so high. It was at least two storeys high and two storeys wide,” said nearby resident Paul Boddum.

“It engulfed the whole back of the stores. It was very nerve-racking.”

Some residents who were forced to evacuate their homes were ushered onto TTC buses for shelter. One car was heavily damaged in one of the fires.

One elderly woman was rescued from her basement apartment and no serious injuries were reported.

Police and the Office of the Fire Marshal are investigating.

If you noticed anything unusual early Wednesday you’re asked to call police at 416-808-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS.

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