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Dorm, Library Fires Continue Arson String

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Ap attempted arson in a University dormitory this morning and the burning last night of a shelf of books in a campus library marked the resumption of the string of intentional fires which began last month. Fire Chief Arthur L. Stauch and Police Chief Walter E. Krasny expressed particular concern over this morning's attempt which was made in a hallway of tne fifth floor of the South Quadrangle. Stauch and Krasny said the chance appearance of a coed in the hallway moment after a lighted book of matches was dropped in a pool of liquid may have averted a disaster. Tht. officers said the would-be arsonist poured an oily substance on the floor outside the door of a dormitory room occupied by a U-M coed. He then apparently lighted a book of matches, dropped it in the liquid and fled. When another coed opened her door and started down the hallway, she saw the burning matches and the liquid which at that point had run under the doorway and into the room of the first I student. The coed stamped out the book of matches and called for help from I er students. Fire Inspector Benjamin Zahn Jr., who has been assigned by Chief Stauch to full-time investigation of the campus fires. said the liquid poured on the wsy floór will be analyzed. "This is toying with murder," Chief Krasny said of the attempted arson. "If someone gets hurt in one of these fires, we'll have more than an arson charge waiting for those responsible." Chief Stauch noted that had this morning's attempt developed into a major fire. it is possible U-M students in the building could have been trapped in their rooms. He again urged persons with information on the origin of the blazes to contact his department or the Pólice Department. Last night's blaze occurred in the North Unit of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library at 920 N. University Ave. Chief Stauch said a U-M coed, Mari Scott, a member of the recently-formed "stack patrol" to guard against arsonists, saw the fire and extinguished the blaze with a hand extinguisher. The fire occurred in a subbasement of the Hatcher Library, a half floor below the first floor. Mrs. Connie R. Dunlap, head librarian, called the área a "remote" location. She said the books were on wooden shelves and one of the shelves was charred. Mrs. Dunlap says about 100 books were damaged. The volumes dealt with the history of manufacturing in the United States, India and other countries, she said. Some of the books can be rebound and put back into circulation, the librarían said. Fire and pólice officials say last night's library fire was set with a liquid which may be similar to that found at the scène of this morning's attempt in the South Quadrangle dormitory. The South Quadrangle is the same mitory where some one yesterday set fire to a pad of paper tacked to the door of a student counselor. Fire officials said that incident is not believed to be I nected with the string of arsons.