Highland Township officials believe that recent fires at local businesses have not been caused by a serial arsonist.

Speculation began on social media websites following a fire at Colasanti’s Market on South Milford Road earlier this month. Highland Township Fire Chief Ken Chapman said that while social media can be a great tool for getting information out quickly, it is easy for misinformation to be spread on it, intentionally or not. Chapman revealed that the recent speculation caused concern within his fire department. Chapman stated that they try to be very open and forward with the community about what they know about the incidents they have had. He said there is nothing driving them to believe that there is a serial arsonist in Highland Township.

The Fire Chief stated that 90% of the structural fires in the township, if no obvious sign or cause can be found, are reported to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Fire Investigation Unit. According to a report from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Arson Division, the cause of the fire at Colasanti’s is undetermined, with the office unable to rule out the possibility of old electrical systems or many extension cords causing the blaze. Video shows the fire starting inside with no person coming or going from the scene. Chapman said anybody with questions or concerns should feel free to contact the fire department as they will be glad to sit down and discuss what they know to try and help put them at ease.

A copy of the report that includes information on all of Highland Township’s undetermined fires over the past 3 years can be found posted below. (MK)