Three vehicles in East Hillside were fire-damaged in an incident early Monday morning that the Duluth Fire Marshal's office has deemed as incendiary, meaning a fire was intentionally ignited under circumstances in which the person knows a fire shouldn't be started.

Dylan Sheldon and his wife were out of town when their Volkswagen caught fire around 4 a.m. Monday at 728 N. Eighth Ave. E.

"It would be difficult to accidentally start a fire like that," Sheldon said, adding that the fire seemed intentional.

A Volkswagen was one of three cars damaged in a Monday, Sept. 7 fire that the Duluth Fire Marshal's office deemed as incendiary. Submitted photo
A Volkswagen was one of three cars damaged in a Monday, Sept. 7 fire that the Duluth Fire Marshal's office deemed as incendiary. Submitted photo

After the fire burned through the brakes on the Volkswagen, which was destroyed in the fire, Sheldon said the vehicle rolled into the couple's Ford truck. The truck received some heat and front-end damage, though he said a neighbor noticed and called 911 before the truck could be destroyed.

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A neighbor's nearby car also sustained some broken lights and heat damage from the fire.

The case has been handed over to the Duluth Police Department for further investigation, according to Kate Van Daele, public information officer for the city of Duluth. No suspects have been identified.

"Incendiary is one of four classes of fire," Van Daele said. "Duluth always will have incendiary fires. As of now, we do not believe that this is a serial fire setter working in this neighborhood."

The Fire Marshal's office continues to investigate the incident and can't provide additional information on how the fire was started while the investigation is ongoing.