Man claims thieves are breaking into and then burning cars in Raleigh driveways

A Raleigh man claims he is the latest victim of a rash of fires involving cars and suspicious circumstances.

"The first thing I saw was her car was on fire, and the driver door was open," Jeremy Lansing said. "I looked over towards my truck, and that driver door was open."

Lansing, a firefighter, said the fire happened early Thursday morning. Heat from his truck and car burning in his driveway melted the front of his house.

"The flames were shooting," he said. "In all my years of being a fireman, I've never seen anything like this."

Lansing battled the fires with a water hose until a fire truck showed up and put the flames out.  He maintains that thieves set the cars on fire after they burglarized them. Memphis Fire Department investigators said a similar fire destroyed a car hours just earlier at a nearby house in Lansing's Raleigh neighborhood.

"I don't know if it is just somebody just being stupid and having fun, or it it's a gang thing," he said. "I don't know. It could be anything."

Lansing said firefighters who responded to the blaze told him that there have been a rash of fires in Raleigh, where thieves have burned cars in driveways or drove off in the cars and burned them later.
  
Still, Lansing said, it could have been much worse.

"I have half a tank of gas in truck, and she's got a full tank in her car, and it could exploded or something and caught the whole house on fire," he said.

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