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Billings police seeking help finding persons of interest in vehicle fires

Billings police seeking help finding persons of interest in vehicle fires
Posted at 4:27 PM, Sep 18, 2023

BILLINGS — Billings police said Monday they are seeking at least two people who they believe were involved in the setting of three vehicle fires Sunday night in Billings.

Police initially believed the separate vehicle fires on Sunday night were connected. After more investigation, Lt. Matt Lennick said Monday it is possible that the incidents are unrelated.

According to Lennick, around 7:37 p.m. Sunday, calls to 911 were made about a large fire engulfing two vans in Billings Senior High School's parking lot. The flames started on one Billings School District 2 van and quickly moved to another.

Shortly after the flames at Senior High were put out, more calls to 911 came in at 8:05 p.m. for another vehicle on fire in a parking lot at Montana Avenue and 31st Street North, outside of the HRDC building.

According to Lennick, police found tools left near the vans at Senior High that led them to believe whoever was responsible for the fire was trying to steal gas from the van.

Police have located a '90s Ford truck that was seen leaving the scene of the fires but are still searching for the people who were inside the night of the fires.

“My guess is somebody knows where that truck is or they’re going to see it or they know who drives it,” Lennick said.

Lennick said they will still be investigating the fires at the same time, but due to the "different circumstances" surrounding the fires, police believe they could be unrelated.

The vehicle on fire outside of the HRDC building had two dogs inside when it was set on fire, but bystanders were able to rescue the animals before they were seriously injured.

Police are asking the public to contact dispatch at 406-657-8200 with any information about either vehicle fire.