NYPD Investigates String of Forest Hills Fires as Suspicious

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Russell Howard

Police in Forest Hills want residents to be on alert as they've deemed six fires in the affluent Queens neighborhood suspicious. 

The fires since late October have all started in vacant buildings being renovated or under construction. The first one in the pattern happened on Oct. 20 inside a vacant hospital on 113th Street; on Nov. 8, there was another fire at a home under construction on 112th Street, and just on Tuesday, a large fire engulfed a home being built at 66th Avenue and 108th Street. 

Police are putting more officers on the streets as they look for suspicious activity, and have teamed up with the FDNY's arson unit to investigate. 

When the NYPD's 112th Precinct station tweeted about Tuesday's fire and asked residents to avoid the area, neighbors responded with concern: "Another one?" "Why so many fires in the neighborhood lately?"

The NYPD followed up in another tweet: "We're aware of the recent rash of residential fires in #ForestHills. We're coordinating with #FDNY and other investigative authorities." 

A local father heading home in the neighborhood Thursday said neighbors are aware of what's happening and wouldn't hesitate to report anything to authorities. 

"I think if something happened here, then people would definitely go and stand up and call 911," said Wanga Zhao.

Even though no one has been injured in the fires, fire can be unpredictable, police say, and so authorities are asking for the public's help quickly. 

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