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Merced fire blamed on arson

Two burning cars at an apartment comlex at 1540 Ellen Court are likely the work of an arsonist, Merced police said Tuesday.

Police responded to the scene at 3:03 a.m., where they found the cars burning in a carport at the apartment. The cars, a 1986 Buick and a 1989 Acura, were severely damaged in the blaze, police said.

Lt. Bimley West said the crime may have gang overtones, as police have noted a substantial level of gang activity and crimes in the area.

Anyone with information about the crime may contact Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4725.