Council’s Public Safety Chair Urges Caution, Community Amidst Arson Cases
NEW BEDFORD - New Bedford Councillor-At-Large Debora Coelho is urging residents to band together and keep a collective eye on each other as police and fire officials search for a possible serial arsonist.
Coelho tells WBSM's Brian Thomas not only does that mean keeping an eye out for suspicious activity, but also taking preventative measures around the house.
"I hope that everybody has their fire alarms checked and set. And fire extinguishers — know where they are. Make sure that everything is current," said Coelho. "Check your surroundings. Make sure that you're up to date with everything that you know you're supposed to have to protect your home."
She also suggested residents invest in surveillance cameras for their homes if they can afford it.
Coelho says while residents have reason to fear for their safety and their property, she can assure them that the intentionally set fires will end.
"There's just no way, nowadays, that you can go ahead and keep doing this randomly, night after night, and think you're going to get away with it. Eventually, somebody's going to see something. Some camera's going to catch something. They will get caught. There's no doubt about it that they will get caught."
The Chair of the Council's Committee on Public Safety says she believes the arsonist may be a younger person or persons that feel they have nothing better to do on a summer night than to set fire to homes and cars, mostly in the city's north end.
Since June, there have been at least ten instances of fires that have been deemed arson by police and fire investigators.