‘Allston Flamer’ strikes cars

‘Allston Flamer’ strikes cars Four autos torched on street in morning spree By John Zaremba | Sunday, September 25, 2011 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Local Coverage Photo by Mark Garfinkel A brazen arsonist dubbed the “Allston Flamer” taunted and toyed with police early yesterday, baiting them by setting off one car fire and then torching three more right down the street and under their noses as investigators worked the scene. “He set three fires while we were on the street right there,” Boston police Lt. Detective Arthur Torigian told the Herald. “What’s he doing it for? He might be just enjoying himself.” In all, four cars were set ablaze and two others sustained collateral damage in the area of Pratt and Ashford streets — not far from where the pyromaniac may have struck on at least four occasions since Aug. 13. Yesterday’s first blaze was reported at 7:50 a.m. on Pratt Street, followed by another across the street at 9:25 a.m., and a final call of two fires on Ashford Street at 9:42 a.m. Police would not say directly whether they believe one person is responsible, but they spoke of a suspect in the singular — and so did worried and victimized residents. “The Allston Flamer is what we’ve dubbed him,” Pratt Street resident Jeff Intinarelli, 21, said as he surveyed the damage to his car, which was torched down to its frame just before 8 a.m. yesterday. “The glass melted and bent. Have you ever seen that? It’s crazy. “I just saw flames shooting out of the doors. The doors were open. The rest was kind of a blur,” he said. “I was kind of hung over when I woke up to begin with, and this just took it to the next level.” Witnesses yesterday identified at least two potential suspects, but police cut them free after questioning. Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said car fires were first reported in the neighborhood Aug. 13 and 14, along with two more Sept. 18. In response to yesterday’s fires, officers are running surveillance in the area and warning residents to be on the lookout. “It’s something that we’re going to be doing,” Boston Police Department spokesman David Estrada said. “They’re doing some canvassing of the general areas, and that will also alert the residents. We’ll probably add some extra patrols in the area to see if we can grab this guy.” Residents and victims said they could have used a warning sooner. “I don’t get why they haven’t notified the residents here,” said Intinarelli, whose car contained an original copy of a four-generation family photograph. “It would have been nice to get a heads-up.” Lee Nason, whose roommate’s car was also set afire on Pratt Street yesterday, said the arsonist “is just playing games.” “Somebody’s just playing with people,” Nason said. “My concern is, does it stop at cars?”