ST. LOUIS — On Thursday, May 16, police are searching for an arsonist in the St. Louis City area. Firefighters responded to a garage fire and a house fire early in the morning, just minutes apart.

Surveillance video in the Benton Park West neighborhood showed a man wearing all black strolling down an alleyway before stopping at a corner garage and going inside.

“This one shows the guy coming up from this side, going up to the hole that was in my garage. Going inside with a bright flashlight,” said Tom Verhoff.

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The video shows light shining through a hole at 4:25 a.m., and in the next clip, you can see flames inside the garage and smoke outside just seven minutes later.

“When there was already a fire lit, he was checking to make sure it was going, I believe. I don’t know for sure but then he left again,” said Verhoff.

He is the owner of the garage, and firefighters at his front door woke him up to inform him that his garage had been completely destroyed by fire.

“It kind of puts a lump in my throat, thinking you know there is somebody out there doing that and there was another fire just you next to the next block over right after mine. It puts the whole neighborhood on edge,” said Verhoff.

Police said a suspicious fire started on the second floor of a vacant home. The connection between the two fires remains unconfirmed. Verhoff worries that there is an arsonist on the loose.

“It’s also kind of a threat to the neighbor—someone lighting a fire,” said Verhoff.