The four car fires that occurred near campus Saturday night were all intentionally set, authorities told AnnArbor.com yesterday. The authorities added that they’ve tied these most recent fires to a series of other car fires spanning several months.

The most recent car fires occurred early Saturday morning between roughly 1:45 and 2:45 a.m. Two took place in the 700 block of South Forest Avenue, one in the 900 block of Church Street, and another in the 1100 block of Oakland Avenue. In each of the four car fires on Saturday no injuries were reported and only the vehicles were damaged.

Now, authorities have determined that the Saturday fires are linked to a series of deliberate car fires that have been occurring since the beginning of the year, according to the AnnArbor.com article.

On April 3, three cars were set ablaze beneath the Abbey apartment building on Church Street. According to Ann Arbor Fire Marshal Kathleen Chamberlain, the seven April car fires are all connected.

“We do believe that the vehicle fires are connected, and we’re looking into whether there’s any connection to any other fires that have been occurring,” Chamberlain told AnnArbor.com

The Fire Department has been dealing with an undisclosed number of similar car fires at least since the beginning of the year, Chamberlain said in the article. Chamberlain also emphasized that all of the car fires are being investigated collectively, according to the article.

The fire department has yet to conclude, however, if a South State Street house fire that also occurred on April 3 — killing an Eastern Michigan University student and injuring two others — was intentionally set and if it is linked to the string of car fires.

“We are continuing to investigate whether the vehicle fires may be related to other fires that have occurred in the area,” Chamberlain told AnnArbor.com. “Of particular importance is the recent fire that resulted in the death of a young Eastern Michigan University student.”

According to an April 7 article published in The Michigan Daily, the Ann Arbor Police Department is already treating that fire as arson and considers it linked to the car fires, an AAPD sergeant who requested to remain anonymous told the Daily at the time.

“Given what you can surmise from what happened (April 3), I would say any reasonable person could deduce what caused the fires,” the sergeant told the Daily at the time. “As far as we’re looking at it, it wasn’t an accident.”

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