Fire Chief: Investigators Believe Arson May Be Cause of Eagan Car Fire
A nearby video camera caught at least two suspects lighting a car on fire. Eagan Fire Chief Mike Scott believes the act wasn't "random."
Eagan police and fire officials are looking for at least two people suspected of intentionally setting fire to a parked car in what may have been a targeted act.
Just after midnight on Oct. 13, emergency responders were called to a car fire on the 4900 block of Rusten Road in Eagan, according to Eagan Fire Department Chief Mike Scott. When police and fire units arrived, they found the vehicle, a four-door passenger car, "fully engulfed", Scott said.
Fire units were able to put out the blaze within minutes, but the car was a total loss, Scott said. The circumstances of the fire appeared suspicious to fire investigators, according to the fire chief.
"To have a parked vehicle in the middle of the night catch on fire, initially that raises a flag in your response," Scott said.
Police spoke with the owner of the vehicle, who told officers the car hadn't been driven for some time, and was uninsured. The car was valued at $3,000, Scott said.
As investigators were interviewing the woman, a neighbor came forward and told police that he may have footage of the incident from a video camera set up in his yard, Scott said.
Police and fire units reviewed the footage, which revealed that two suspects had approached the vehicle and lit it on fire before fleeing. Investigators do not yet know how the fire was set, Scott said, though samples from the vehicle were sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis.
Police have not yet identified any suspects in the case, Eagan Police Department Sgt. Jennifer Wills said. Scott urged anyone with knowledge of the incident to call the state's anonymous arson hotline at 1-800-723-2020.
"At this point, we have a pretty good lead because of the video," Scott said. "We know at least two parties were involved, possibly more that were waiting for them."
"It does not sound like a random act," he added.