Three fires were deliberately set overnight in separate locations in Kitchener, police say, and investigators are looking for suspects.

Waterloo Region police spokesperson Alana Holtom says “With all three fires starting in such a short time frame and such a short distance from each other, it would be natural to assume that they are correlated and not spontaneous.”

The fires all occurred within just a few kilometres of each other.

Two were in dumpsters, one behind J.F. Carmichael Public School on Patricia Avenue, another behind a plaza at Highland and Westmount Roads.

“Fortunately the fire [at the school] was quickly contained and there was minimal damage,” Holtom says.

The fire at the plaza also did not spread beyond the garbage where it appears to have been set.

The third fire, just minutes away, was at a home on Belmont Street, which suffered extensive damage to the roof and a deck.

Barbara Privatt lives next door and saw the flames “When I woke up I came through the kitchen, of course I noticed through the window the house was engulfed with flames…I have never seen anything like that before, never.”

Police say that fire caused more than $20,000 in damage.

Police are also looking into whether these fires could be connected to a number of small fires set at area schools in July.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Waterloo Region police at 519-650-8500 Ext. 3399 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.