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Museum District residents warned as police investigate apartment arson

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RICHMOND, Va. – The Museum District Association (MDA) has warned city residents to be cautious as police investigate two cases of arson.

Residents were warned to secure their properties and report any suspicious activity to police.

Both fires were set in apartment buildings within hours of each other. The first fire happened at 4:43 a.m. in the 3500 block of Park Avenue and the second at 7 a.m. in the 3400 block of Kensington Avenue, on Wednesday.

Police said the fires were similar in nature, with multiple points of origin in unsecured areas. The buildings sustained moderate damage and displaced several residents.

Residents are encouraged to secure common areas, such as laundry and storage rooms, and lock all accessory doors.

Police asked landlords to please ensure that all exterior lights are working and kept lit starting at dusk.

The MDA also reminded residents to lock fence gates, latch windows and secure doors.

“It is imperative that you have working smoke detectors in your home. Urge your neighbors to do the same. Senior residents may need help to install fresh batteries in their detectors, please offer them assistance if you can.”

Patrols will be increased in the area. Residents are asked to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity or persons, male or female, who have been frequenting the area – perhaps seeking shelter.

Anyone with information about these arsons is asked to call Major Crimes Sergeant William Booth at (804) 646-4315 or contact Crime Stoppers at 780-1000 or at http://www.7801000.com. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip. All the Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.