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Arson Crimes Add Up and AFD Needs Public's Help to Solve Case

By Mallory Peebles, Crime and Law Enforcement, Natural Resources and Parks Reporter, Fill-in Anchor, mpeebles@ktuu.com
Published On: Oct 30 2013 08:43:42 PM AKDT
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

The crime lab has confirmed accelerants were used to start a shed fire outside a Jewel Lake home on Runestad Circle. The shed is complete loss and the home was damaged according to the homeowner who got out safely with her son and 3 dogs.

Wednesday, the Anchorage Fire Department asked the public to help solve the case. The fire happened at the end of September. 

"The reason we didn't tell you right away is we have to wait for evidence and further the investigation before we can rule on the fire," said fire investigator Brian Balega.

Balega says just this year he's investigated 58 suspicious fires and he believes 40 were intentionally set. 

"Our department as a whole has responded to 660 fire incidents," said Balega. "As you see I only see a small portion of those."

The owner of the Jewel Lake home where the shed burned, Carmen Curtis, says AFD responded very quickly to the blaze but the investigation is taking too long. 

"The frustrating part is just not knowing," said Curtis. "And knowing whoever did this is still out there. You know what's he going to do next? He has tried to kill me. He set my house on fire. What's he going to do the next time he comes back?"

If you have information about the fire on Runestad Circle AFD asks you to call the arson hotline at 267-5060 or call anonymously to crime stoppers at 561-STOP.