String of local arson fires in 24 hours injures woman

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Driver flees after fatally striking pedestrian at 20th and Barrett

The El Cerrito and Richmond police departments are trying to find out who has been starting small fires, one of which injured a woman who had been sleeping in her car when her vehicle was set ablaze.

The arson fires began Tuesday afternoon when Richmond police responded to several small fires in public areas, mostly to shrubs and garbage cans, that were quickly extinguished, according to El Cerrito police.

Then on Wednesday morning, four additional fires were reported along San Pablo Avenue, including one that injured the woman who had been sleeping in her car near the old Taco Bell parking lot at 11900 block of San Pablo Ave., police said. The suspect set her vehicle on fire, but the woman as able to escape, albeit with several severe burns, police said.

“El Cerrito and Richmond law enforcement and fire department personnel are collaborating in hopes of identifying a suspect and motive,” police said. “At this time there is no suspect information.:

Investigators are asking anyone with information to call dispatch at (510) 233-1214.

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