Authorities investigate clothing donation bin fires - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Authorities investigate clothing donation bin fires

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Clothing donation bins have been burning to the ground.

It's a situation the Cedar Rapids Fire Department is trying to figure out.

Multiple bins have burned within the last couple of months.

Investigators say they are not sure what caused each of the fires, but they are not ruling out arson.

Two clothing bins were reported to be on fire within an hour of each other on Friday Night.

"Anytime we would have two fires in a similar structure or in this case identical bins on opposite sides of town, obviously you look at those a little bit harder," said Captain Steve Mast, Investigator with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.

It appears there is a pile of trash laying in the parking lot of Maurices on the Southwest side of the city.

If you take a closer look, it is actually a melted down clothing bin, full of burnt up clothes.

The bins are owned by a company called Operation Green, it is unclear if the donations stay local or what happens to them.

Signs on the bins say it's a commercial recycling company and that by donating you are helping those in need.

The bin near target on the North side of town, also burned at one time.

"It had a fire in it but it was an isolated fire, there were no other bin fires on that evening," said Mast.

The fire brings the total to three donation bin fires in the last couple of months, leaving many questions investigators are working to answer.

"If someone would happen to have caught it on a cell phone video what was unfolding that shows suspects near the bin, or if someone had video surveillance from their house, their business and they have video of suspects or a suspect vehicle, we would love to hear from those people," Mast says.

We tried calling Operation Green to learn more about the company and they did not answer their phone.

According to investigators that is not surprising, they say they have had trouble contacting the company.

Firefighters say aside from the bins a trailer was damaged by one of the fires.

If it is found the fires were intentionally set, we are told there could be a Wreckless Use of Fire charge or even an arson charge.

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