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Two arson incidents damage several cars at Hilliard apartment complex

8:06 PM, Apr 28, 2013   |    comments
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Fire cars burned by arson at Hilliard apartment complex

HILLIARD, Fla---For the second time in less than a week, several cars have been set on fire at Eastwood Oaks Apartments off Eastwood Road, according to the Nassau County Sheriff's Office.

"Its something that's going to be in the back of everyone's mind when they lay down to go to sleep at night and will people be sleeping soundly, no," said William Dishman, a resident at Eastwood Oaks Apartments.

William Dishman's Comcast van was one of five cars burned at the complex in Hilliard at around 2 a.m. Sunday. Dishman recorded a video on his phone as two cars were completely engulfed in flames and three parked nearby were damaged by the fire.

"If you look inside my car, it's an ash tray. There's a hollow frame, nothing was really salvageable from my car," said a resident who wished to remain anonymous.

The most terrifying part for residents is that this is the second night in less than a week where they wake up to burning cars. The Nassau County Sheriff's Office confirms another arson incident damaged three cars on Wednesday.

"It's like terrorizing the whole neighborhood. It's like you don't know if you're safe or not," said Tina Hallman, a resident at Eastwood Oaks Apartments.

Hallman says her car wasn't set on fire but sustained severe damage for being parked next to the car that was. The entire driver side was melted, door handles disappeared, and her window shattered. Residents say they have no idea who is doing this.

"It's definitely random because it's so many different vehicles you know not everybody has the same enemy," said Hallman.

The complex management has not returned phone calls to First Coast News, but neighbors say management has been supportive and is considering installing surveillance cameras for more security. The property is not gated, but residents say they've never had concerns before. 

"It's nice to live here and then this comes and it's like you don't know whether you're going to wake up and two or three in the morning to noises and finding vehicles on fire outside," said Dishman. 

The State Fire Marshal's Office is handling the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Nassau County Sheriff's Office at 904-225-5174.

First Coast News

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