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Someone Spent Last Night Setting Downtown Dallas's Trash Cans on Fire

Downtown Dallas was on fire last night -- at least, its trash cans were. Six or seven of them, to be more exact. That's what firefighters say. We saw four for sure -- the first one around 9. The trash can at the corner of Griffin Street and Ross Avenue was smoking. I was driving home from work and doubled back to make sure I'd seen what I'd seen. Sure enough -- thick, opaque clouds of smoke pouring out of the can.

Then, there was a flash of light just down the street toward Lamar Street -- sure enough,  another waste can was ablaze in front of the CVS. For a few minutes, it just burned. Then the fire engines sounded and rounded the corner; and within minute, it was out.

Some waiting at the West End DART station gathered across the street for a better view. "I'll tell you what," said one man, Don Willis, who had missed his bus to watch the action, "whoever is doing it, before the night's over, they'll do it again." He was right.

Five minutes later, the scene replayed itself at the corner of Akard and Elm Streets. Then, again, at Field and Commerce Streets. As the fire truck drove away from the latter blaze, the captain leaned out the window and asked passers-by, "Do you know who's doing this?" Nobody did. 


Back at the fire station, the captain still had no idea who was responsible. All together, he said, there had been six or seven fires in the last hour. "This isn't something that ever happens," he said.

Another call came over the speaker, but it wasn't another trash can fire. "A motor vehicle accident," he said, jumping back in the truck and heading toward the highway. Later, a Fire-Rescue dispatcher reached by phone confirmed that there had been no more trash can fires during the night.

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