Police release surveillance video of two fires

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee police released surveillance video of two fires that damaged apartments and the Harmony Foods grocery store in Milwaukee’s southside, and now, they’d like to speak with a man in that video.

Police released surveillance video Tuesday showing a man using a lighter to set the contents of a dumpster on fire outside Harmony Foods. Now, they’d like to question that man about three fires prior to this one on December 22nd, and one afterwards that displaced residents at an apartment near 25th and Becher.

Samer Bishawi was back at the apartment where he once lived near 25th and Becher Tuesday, trying to salvage what he could. “Basically a couple pants and some shorts. This is all we could get out of it. I don’t know what kind of human could do that to other humans,” Bishawi said.

Bishawi says he’s been in the neighborhood for almost 20 years, and hasn’t had a problem with anybody. Unfortunately, Bishawi doesn’t have insurance, and only works part-time. He says his savings burned up in the fire. “All of it. $2,700,” Bishawi said. Bishawi has four children and is now homeless, now that Red Cross assistance is gone. “Basically, I’m lost. I’m looking for someone to direct me which way I have to go,” Bishawi said.

Shaher Assad owns the apartment building that he rents out, and fortunately, has insurance. “It’s going to be remodeled. I just talked to the insurance man and they’re going to pay for the damages,” Assad said.

Eight apartment dwellers along with Bishawi could have died in the early morning fire, but all survived.

Police are looking for a white or Hispanic man, wearing a dark-colored jacket with horizontal lines at the top and bottom, and a baseball cap turned backwards. They say the man has long, dark hair and was wearing jeans. If you have any information relating to these fires, you’re asked to call Milwaukee police.

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