Alameda police concerned over recent string of fires

Alameda police said they are concerned about possible arson after discovering a string of small fires around the island over the last couple of weeks.

At Franklin Park, a door to the rec center is boarded up, after police say a small fire was set by the entrance, causing the glass to crack. Part of the side door was also charred. 

Alameda police chief Nishant Joshi said these incidents happened a few days apart, and are believed to be arson.

"In the first incident a pile of clothing was set on fire. And 4 days later a pile of trash was set on fire in the same area," said Chief Joshi.

Since February 7th, Alameda police say they have been called to 6 fire-related incidents.

February 7th, they were called to the 400 block of Grand Avenue.

February 12th they were called to one of the fires at Franklin Park.

February 13th, they received a call on the 2500 block of Blanding Avenue.

February 16th, they were called back to Franklin Park.

February 17th, another fire was reported on the 2600 block of Blanding Avenue.

February 22nd, a fire was reported on the 300 block of Island Drive.

"Anytime you’re dealing with fire there could be risk to property and even worse risk to people," said Joshi.

ALSO: Alameda school board closes Bay Farm Middle School over parental pleas

He said they believe at least of the fires were set by members of the community who are unhoused, and were trying to stay warm. 

"We believe that the individuals that set these were people who were just trying to stay warm from the elements," Joshi said. "It has been very cold outside, it has been raining." 

The city partners with City of Hope where people who are unhoused can go during these cold nights. There is also a warming shelter at Christ Episcopal Church.

Detectives are asking residents to report any suspicious activity.