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Neighborhood fires may be linked

CHAMPAIGN -- Police are investigating if recent fires are connected.
CHAMPAIGN -- Police are investigating if recent fires are connected. There have been four in the same neighborhood since the beginning of the year.

The latest happened early Wednesday morning on West University Avenue. Authorities say a garage caught fire. Earlier fires were just blocks away, on Victor Street, Mattis Avenue and Church Street. People say they do not think the fires were accidents.

It's because they all happened early in the morning, between 3 - 5 am. Three started outside. It has people keeping an extra eye out.
 
Shaina Masso said, "This is what we call home, so with having seven kids here playing all the time, every week."

Masso lives just a few doors down from one house. It caught fire in August.

"My kids actually woke up crying that night, because they thought our house was on fire."

Masso says they were concerned about it being close to a nearby gas station.

"When we found out it was at the end of the street, being so close to the gas station. We were concerned if the tank got on fire at the gas station, how it could've deeply affected our entire neighborhood."

It's just one of four fires which have happened in the past ten months. No one has been hurt, but it has people shaken.

"Is it just a coincidence that these houses have caught fire in the same neighborhood, all within so many months?"

Whatever the cause, Shaina and her neighbors just hope the fires stop soon, so they can stop worrying.

"We had to go over, 'this is what happens if our house catches fire, this is how you get out if you're upstairs and the fire's upstairs.'"

So her kids, can be kids again. Officials say anytime this many fires happen all in the same area, it raises concern. All four causes are undetermined at this point and under investigation. They are working with police to see if they are linked.
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