RENTON, Wash. - Renton Police and ATF agents are searching for a suspected arsonist likely responsible for four different fires set early Easter morning.
The first 911 call came in around 5:30 am, and several others quickly followed about fires in the area.
"We believe they’re all most likely connected, they’re all within a relatively close proximity to each other," said Commander Dan Figaro with Renton PD.
The four scenes consisted of a semi-truck fully engulfed in flames parked outside of Boeing, and just down the road, a plant nursery with the same fate. A mile or so away, two greyhound buses were found charred.
The fourth fire was at a Shell Station at 1100 SW Grady Way. While it’s considered a vehicle fire, for the owners of Taqueria El Taco Loco, the food truck set ablaze is their livelihood.
"It was a small family business," said one of the owners, Edgar Castaneda.
Cleaning up burnt rubble is not how the family planned to spend Easter Sunday together. "Luckily nothing blew up next to the gas station, that was my biggest concern. But yeah it’s a little bit hard, it’s emotional, but you have to stay strong," said Castaneda.
The family’s only source of income, destroyed. But they say they’re truly grateful no one was hurt. "We've been through some trials and tribulations and we've came out of it so pretty sure we can do it again with this one," said Castaneda.
The sheer randomness of the four fires has many equally as baffled, as they are disturbed.
"This is just terrible because there’s a lot of work that goes into this place and they do a lot of good," said August Wright. Wright’s partner runs the greenhouse targeted for unknown reasons, which is part of the King Conservation District. The main purpose of this space called the ‘Wetland Plant Cooperative’ is to provide trees, shrubs, and wetland plants for the community, and help restore plants that are crucial to the local ecosystem.
"It’s so random and it’s just destructive, I mean the only purpose they would have had, because there’s actually value in that building, they didn’t even do it for any of the value they did it just to do it, just to see something light up the sky maybe. It’s a senseless act in my opinion."
Wright says in addition to the hard work of volunteers now ruined, he says there are thousands of dollars of tools likely destroyed.
"We don't have a lot of extra dollars sitting around just to spend on this."
Renton police say they have no suspects or even suspect information at this point. They could really use your help, if you know anything please contact them. No tip is too small.
The owners of Taqueria El Taco Loco have set up a gofundme to help them stay afloat, as they navigate the bizarre and financially devastating situation.
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