Rash of vehicle fires sparks fear in northwest residents

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A rash of vehicles fires in a northwest side neighborhood is making it hard for residents to sleep at night.  The fires were sparked late at night, when residents in the area of Magee and La Canada are asleep, and in one case, flames jumped to a nearby home.

Mountain Vista Fire District has tackled three vehicle fires.  A pickup truck caught fire on Calle Casquilla, but according to Deputy Fire Marshal Willie Treatch, firefighters did not investigate the incident.

The second fire happened on Cool near La Oeste, and that time, flames jumped to the home, burning the awning.  Treatch says a nearby recycle bin was also caught on fire, but it's unclear whether those fires are related.  The cause of the vehicle fire has been ruled as undetermined.

Investigators were alerted when a third fire happened on Mahogany near Hardy.  The homeowner's work truck went up in flames.  Treatch says that's the only incident that has been confirmed as arson.

Mountain Vista Fire is now working with the Pima County Sheriff's Department to find out if all three vehicle fires are linked.  The fires occurred within the last couple of weeks.

Residents are really fed up. They say cars have been shot at, struck with paintballs, smoke bombs, and now they're being set on fire.

The scary part?  The fires are happening in the middle of the night, very close to homes.

William Steyer's truck is torched.

"Fire department and the police came to my door.  That's the first I knew about it."

It was the middle of the night. Steyer's neighbor had seen the flames and called 911.

"My first thought was General Motors, what did they wire it wrong?  It's a new truck."

The Mountain Vista Fire District didn't think anything of it either.

Days after Steyer's truck burned on Calle Casquilla, another incident took place on Cool Drive.

Flames from a car burning in a driveway reached the awning of this house.

Then last Saturday, another fire burned a truck on Mahagony Road.

"I wondered if I was targeted.  But then I don't think it was me because I don't think I did anything to anybody.  Maybe I did."

The Mountain Vista Fire Marshal says one incident has been confirmed as arson, but investigators are now looking at whether all three fires are connected.

Steyer says the situation could have been worse. "It could have caught the house, and we could have not woke up. That's what I'm thinking."

Mountain Vista's fire marshal says he's working with the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

Neighbors say they have noticed a lot of deputies patrolling their area.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now.  All rights reserved.