4 car fires reported in Dubuque; police suspect arson - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

4 car fires reported in Dubuque; police suspect arson

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Police are investigating four car fires reported Friday.

The Dubuque Fire Department responded to a call around 4:30 a.m. Friday morning of a truck engulfed in flames. Dubuque Fire Marshall Mark Burkle said the truck was destroyed.

The three other vehicles only sustained minor damage, Burkle said. He attributes it to the fire running out of oxygen and extinguishing itself.

Cody Schwartz said he didn't notice the damage until he was getting into his truck to go to work around 3 p.m. Friday.

"It was crazy," he said. "I had to take my ma's car."

Damage in his car was contained largely to the passenger side, which was missing a chunk of seat cushion. Portions of the door panel were melted, and the windows were caked in smoke residue.

"They took a bottle of antifreeze from my trunk and threw it up there," he said. "I don't know if they thought it was flammable or what."

Schwartz said investigators took the antifreeze as evidence.

Luellen Rowan's car was also set on fire. She said some wiring will have to be replaced, and she'll have to get it professionally cleaned to get the smell out. She estimates there was $300 worth of damage.

Schwartz said he believed he could fix most of the problems in his truck himself.

Burkle said the one common thread between these vehicles was that all four had either unlocked doors or open windows.

He didn't think these were targeted at anyone specifically, but rather just crimes of opportunity. 

He urged people to make sure their doors were locked and windows were up, and to park in a well-lit area.

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