SAN JOSE -- Authorities are seeking the public's help in identifying the culprit in a string of trash bin fires set in West San Jose over the past couple of weeks, with the latest one breaking out Monday evening, according to the San Jose Fire Department.

Reports of the arson fires, seemingly targeting Dumpsters and surrounding vegetation, first popped up Sept. 30 and have since grown to at least six incidents -- some residents report as many as eight -- in the area of Downing Avenue off South Bascom Avenue. A trash bin fire was quickly extinguished by a single fire engine after being reported at 7:25 p.m. Monday on the 1100 block of Delna Manor Lane, a block away from Downing and South Bascom.


The fires, which have burned up the bins and nearby bushes have caused no serious property damage, had previously been spotted on weekends, but that is the only discernible pattern, fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez said.

No witnesses come forward, which is something arson investigators hope will change, given the potential for greater damage in a future fire.

"Our concern is if these are being intentionally set, they can cause significant property damage or loss of life," Gutierrez said. "We are taking this investigation seriously."

A fire captain reached Monday night said there was no additional information available on the latest fire, but said he expected a report to be issued on Tuesday.


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Anyone with information about the fires can contact the San Jose Fire Department's arson tip line at 408-27-ARSON (27766).

Staff writer Eric Kurhi contributed to this report. Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.