CrimeTracker 15: Possible Arsons Investigated in Madison

By: Phil Levin Email
By: Phil Levin Email

UPDATED Wednesday, August 15, 2012 --- 10:30 p.m.

The Madison Fire Department is investigation several recent fires that may be suspicious.

Capt. Brad Olson tells NBC 15 his team is looking into dumpster fires earlier this week that melted siding off of student housing on campus. Flames flew twenty feet into the air behind a building off of N. Brooks St.

Although students are moving and there is more trash than usual for fuel, Olson says it is suspicious that two separate dumpster fires started a street apart.

The team is also investigating a car explosion early Tuesday. A passenger window shattered across Walton Pl. near Yahara Pl. The car was examined by inspectors Thursday. The owner says there was nothing in his vehicle that he thought could have caused the damage.


Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2012 --- 1:22 p.m.

Incident Report from the Madison Police Department:

Incident Type:
Arson Investigation

Incident Date:
08/14/2012 - 3:21 AM

Walton Place near Yahara Place

Male, age 22, Madison

The MPD is looking into arson as the possible cause of a car fire early Tuesday morning. Residents who live near Walton Place and Yahara Place reported hearing an explosion around 3:30 a.m. The passenger compartment of a car on the street was on fire, and window fragments from the vehicle were found up to 60-feet away. One resident reported seeing two white "teenagers" walking in the area just prior to the blaze. Both were described as being tall and thin, wearing dark colored shorts and light colored shirts. One was carrying some type of bag. The Madison Fire Department put out the fire, and the MPD is working the MFD on this investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 266-6014. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward. The car's owner, a 22-year old Madison man, said there was nothing flammable or explosive inside the vehicle, and he knew of no mechanical problems which could have caused an explosion and fire.

Earlier in the morning, around 1:15 a.m., the MPD responded to a dumpster fire in the 700 block of W. Washington Ave. A resident said she awoke to hear the sound of a bottle exploding, and someone screaming. She looked out to see flames coming from the dumpster and from items placed near it.

There have also been a couple of other dumpster fires in the central city in the past few days. It is not known if any of these incidents are connected, but again, anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers. If you see suspicious activity near a dumpster or car, you should call 911.

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