In the past week, Gulfport has had three fires: one to a house and another two in alleyways.
On November 21 at about 1 a.m., a home on the 4700 block of Coronado Way South caught fire. No one was injured and the city has yet to determine a cause.
The family was asleep inside the home, but escaped unharmed when the grandmother “was awakened by a roaring sound” according to the initial police report. She told police she saw flames coming from the garage/outside sitting area.
At this time the police cannot determine the extent of the damages.
The other two fires are what police believe may be set fires in alleyways, and could be connected the city’s “palm tree arsonist.” For the past five years, Gulfport emergency personnel have battled 33 brush fires, primarily set fires in alleyways, Detective Sergeant Tom Woodman said.
One fire took place last Sunday night, when the Gulfport Fire Department responded to a palm tree fire on the 2800 block of 53rd Street. Later last week, on Tuesday night, November 20, emergency personnel responded to a fire on the 2100 block of 53rd Street, also set to palms in the alley.
Detective Sergeant Woodman says he believes the fires are consistent with previous fires over the last five years.
“It’s consistent with numerous other palm tree fires over the last five years,” Detective Sergeant Woodman said.
The police currently have no suspects.
Gulfport Police urges the public to monitor alleyways for any suspicious persons or activity and contact the Gulfport Police Department at 893-1030 with any information. However, if you see a fire, Detective Sergeant Woodman says, please call 911 immediately.