Vandals Set Vehicles On Fire In Clarksville Neighborhood - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Vandals Set Vehicles On Fire In Clarksville Neighborhood

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by Adam Ghassemi

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Vandals set three vehicles on fire in a Clarksville neighborhood, leaving a handful of families without a ride or sense of safety.

D'Moniuqe Ortiz said her family was suddenly jarred awake around 3 a.m. Monday to police banging on her front door.

"I thought it was in my dream," said Ortiz.

The nightmare waiting outside was actually officers saying her Chevy Trailblazer was on fire.

"It was all orange. You couldn't even tell that it was a black car," she said.

Ortiz said her family had just driven to Nashville over the weekend and refilled the tank with gasoline. Officials said the full tank could have helped fuel the fire that spread to the side of her and her neighbor's homes.

"Everything just started exploding," said 10-year-old neighbor Tierra Newson.

Both Tierra and her little brother woke up and saw flames. They ran to alert their parents and took pictures and videos of the burning SUV on an iPad.

Ortiz was one of three neighbors whose vehicles were hit within a few blocks of each other. Investigators said they believed the same suspect set a truck on fire on nearby Boxcroft Court, as well as a small sedan on Gomer Road. Each incident happened within 15 minutes.

"That's our only car right now, so it kind of puts a damper on things going on, you know," said one neighbor who lost a small white Ford.

Just knowing random cars were set on fire across the neighborhood had many people worried that the next time people sleeping inside may not be so lucky.

"Our car or our house could be next – or we could be the ones that could be seriously hurt," Newson said.

"God knows what would have happened. We have three kids and a dog, so we would have all been gone," said Ortiz.

Clarksville investigators were still working to identify a suspect or suspects. So far no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information about the fires should call the Clarksville Police Department's TIPSLINE at 931-645-8477.

Police said at least two of the three cars were left unlocked, which made it easier for someone to get inside to start the fires. They asked that people be smart and lock their car doors.

Email: aghassemi@newschannel5.com
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