A fire at the Preakness Apartments in Versailles Road on Tuesday night was the latest in a series of suspected arsons in the area, according to the Lexington fire department.
Firefighters were dispatched at 11:39 p.m., Battalion Chief Ed Davis said. The fire was deliberately set inside the unoccupied lower level of a two-story structure, David said. The fire displaced at least three people who live on the second story. No injuries were reported.
The area of the Preakness Apartments had about 15 reported fires in December and January and six fires during a 12-hour period during the Memorial Day weekend, Davis said. Dumpsters, cars and buildings have all been targets. All the fires are suspected to be arson, possibly the work of several people, Davis said..
"We've never had anything like this that anyone can remember in the history of the Lexington fire department," Davis said.
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Davis said investigating the fires is a top priority. In fact, he said, the person who first smelled the smoke from Tuesday night's fire was immediately able to find a police officer to help.
"We've stepped it up," he said. "Police are running through that area constantly."