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Authorities Seek Suspect After 5 Separate Fires Monday Afternoon

An arsonist struck in East Redding Monday afternoon, lighting five separate fires. Good timing allowed Redding firefighters to keep a structure fire from consuming a building on the property of the Hope Baptist Church on Churn Creek Road. The building had been used in the past as a residence for the pastor, but more recently as storage. Crews were able to limit the damage to an exterior wall on the back of the building, with some damage to the interior as well. The value is estimated at $25,000. Another fire on the property had burned itself out. the limited damage to the building was due to the fact that fire personnel were already just north of there in the area of the Loma Vista overpass tending to a small vegetation fire. Two more fires were lit in the neighborhood across the freeway. Some debris was torched in the street at Ricardo Avenue and Estate Street. A flag was burned at a house on El Portal. Fire prevention officers canvassed the area looking for suspects or witnesses, but nobody was found. Anyone with information is asked to call Fire Marshal Craig Wittner at 225-4141.