Man burned in string of possible arsons under investigation in H Street corridor

Investigators in D.C. are looking into whether four fires in Northeast early Wednesday were started deliberately. One person was injured in one of the fires.

D.C. firefighters responded to four separate incidents in the H Street/Trinidad corridor within a two-hour span starting 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers were patrolling H Street Northeast when a man flagged them down to report that he was near 13th and H streets “when an unknown suspect walked by him, doused a shirt with an unknown flammable liquid, lit it and threw it on him,” said D.C. police Lt. Seth Anderson.

“The victim was able to flee the scene without any injury. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5-foot-5 and 150 pounds, wearing a tan coat, blue jeans and a black hat,” Anderson wrote in an official police-community listserv.

Less than an hour later, officers found another man just four blocks away who had serious burns to his legs and his property destroyed in a similar incident. The man did not see the suspect and was rushed to the hospital to recover.

“Due to similarities between the two incidents, they are considered to be related,” Anderson wrote.

Over the following hour, D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Vito Maggiolo said they responded to two more incidents: a vehicle in flames around 1:20 a.m. on the 1300 block of Florida Avenue Northwest, and a flower pot burning on a front porch on the 1400 block of Morse Street Northeast, just a three minute walk away.

The D.C. Fire and EMS Arson Task Force is investigating the fires. Anyone with information is urged to contact the department’s arson tip line at (202) 673-2776.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. 

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