Phoenix neighbors upset after free little library goes up in flames

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Nick Barnhiser said somebody lit his "little library" on fire in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Nick Barnhiser said somebody lit his "little library" on fire in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Neighbors are convinced the fire was deliberately set, but no one's quite sure why. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Neighbors are convinced the fire was deliberately set, but no one's quite sure why. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The little library that burned down was built about a year ago. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The little library that burned down was built about a year ago. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Nick Barnhiser can't understand why someone would set one of them on fire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Nick Barnhiser can't understand why someone would set one of them on fire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

They bring communities together, helping neighbors share their love of reading.

Free little libraries have grown in popularity over the years, which is why Nick Barnhiser can't understand why someone would set one of them on fire.

Barnhiser said that someone knocked on his door early Wednesday morning, to tell him that the free little library in front of his Phoenix home was on fire.

"It was a little disturbing to wake up at 2:30 in the morning, and come see something on fire on my property," said Barnhiser.

Neighbors are convinced the fire was deliberately set, but no one's quite sure why.

"Most likely it's random vandalism," said Barnhiser. "Somebody walking by and decided to play a prank, I guess."

The free little library looked just like others near Thomas Road and 14th Street.

Book collection boxes are a way for neighbors and their kids to share and exchange books and provide a place to meet and greet others.

The little library that burned down was built about a year ago.

Barnhiser posted what happened on social media and was immediately bombarded with messages from people who wanted to help.

"We've already had some offers this morning," said Barnhiser. "People willing to help rebuild the library for us, and donate some books. It's been all positive."

If you have any information about the fire, contact the Phoenix Fire Department.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

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Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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