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Authorities Release Chapel Hill Fire 9-1-1 Tape

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CHAPEL HILL — Chapel Hill firefighters are busierthan they'd like to be as the new year gets off to a fiery start. Twosmall but suspicious fires are already being investigated.

But the problem isn't as new as the year. Investigators say 1996 waslittered with unsolved fires, some of which are believed to have been theresult of arson.

Questions surround the origins of the two most recent fires. One blazeat the Vine Veterinary Hospital on Monday was followed by another earlyTuesday. In the latter, fire broke out at about 5 a.m. at the 411 Westrestaurant. Both businesses are on Franklin Street.

Firefighters have released a tape of the call to 9-1-1 that alertedthem to the animal hospital fire. They want people to listen to the tapeand see if they can identify the caller.

Fire Marshal Joe Robertson says they need to know who placed that call.

Anyone who thinks the voice of the 9-1-1 caller is even vaguelyfamiliar is asked to call the Chapel Hill Fire Marshal's office.

They have not said that the caller is a suspect, but say theyarecurious about how he spotted the fire when firefightersarriving later had a difficult time finding evidence of it.

They say they are also hoping that resolving this crime mightlead to the solution of others.

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