Area Homeless Camps Targeted by Arsonists

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Three people have been arrested in connection with a rash of fires targeting area homeless camps.

The crimes have been going on for several weeks, according to authorities.

The fires have been occurring on Riverbed Street on the West Bank of the Flats. There have been two in the last week, one just Saturday morning.

There is sadness in the homeless community and for those who work with the population every day.

"They [the suspects] risked the lives and all of the valuables of individuals who are already on the edge of society and just trying to survive," said Brian Davis, who is with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless.

Along the street there are memories burned, homeless camps destroyed.

"We were fearful this was a hate crime, people coming down and attacking homeless people," Davis said.

On Saturday, Cleveland firefighters said three people were arrested for setting several fires in the area of Riverbed Street. The latest fire happened around 4 a.m. that day.

"This is horribly disappointing," Davis said.

"Over the last month, people have been afraid someone was going to set their camp on fire," he went on.

Davis said one of the individuals was burned out of her home, and lost her pet in the fire.

Cleveland police have not released the identities of the people who were arrested.

However, they explained more information will be released as this investigation continues.

At this time a motive is also unclear.