Cars torched at Tempe apartment complex


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Heidi Goitia

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 6:57 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 13 at 11:46 AM

Map: Priest and Broadway

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Police are trying to find the person who set fire to a car in the parking lot of a Tempe apartment complex early Thursday morning.

It happened at about 12:30 a.m. at the Versante Apartments near Priest Drive and Broadway Road.

Video from the scene showed the charred remains of a Chrysler Sebring. The flames spread to the car parked next to it.

The owners of the cars spotted the fire from their second-story window. They called 911 and said firefighters were on the scene quickly.

Several apartments were evacuated for a short time as a precaution, but fire crews kept the flames from spreading to the building.

A third vehicle several spaces away was involved, as well. The fire could not have spread there on its own. That's one reason investigators believe this to be a case of arson.

Andrew Kotalik's roommate owns the torched Sebring. It was his car that was parked next to it. He said he does not think he and his roommate were targeted.

"We don't know anyone around here," Kotalik said. "I honestly think it was a random act of vandalism."

At this point, police do not have any suspects in the case.

While Versante is gated, it does not have security cameras. Residents say new management removed them about a year ago.

If you know anything about the car fire, please call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311.