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Police Investigate Three Car Fires In North Bergen

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NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police are investigating after several cars caught fire in North Bergen Wednesday morning.

The first fire was reported around 5:20 a.m. on First Avenue. Two other fires were reported on 76th Street within an hour of the first incident.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, one of the car owners took cell phone video as her Toyota minivan went up in flames outside of her home.

“I came running out and you could see the car exploding, and it went off a couple of times, exploding,” Stacey Sneyers said.

Two blocks away, a BMW SUV went up in flames. The owner, who was taking his dog out, spotted flames in a garbage can lid under the car apparently right after it was lit, Slattery reported.

“(He was able to pull it out from under the car?) Under the car, yeah. Thank God, (No damage?) No damage,” said the car owner’s daughter, Daniella Salazar.

A Toyota Avalon, the third to be torched, was spotted by the car owner’s son.

“My son is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins, has a start up company, doing great. To have this happen is really disheartening,” car owner Brian Bauer said.

Sneyers said burning garbage was placed under her car as well.

“So, what they did is put garbage, set on fire, it was put under the car and it burned from there,” she said.

She added that she’s grateful no one was hurt.

“Everyone was off the street. No one was on the street at that time here. Everyone was in their beds sleeping. So thank God it happened then because usually there’s a car parked right in front of me too,” said Sneyers.

The state fire marshal had an accelerant-sniffing dog at each location.

Police were not optimistic that nearby cameras offered any clues in what is an arson mystery, Slattery reported.

“It was three different types of vehicles. (No connection between any of the victim?) No connection between any of the victims,” said North Bergen Police Capt. Patrick Irwin.

The targeted vehicles were apparently hit at random. The owners said they would like to know why.

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