ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) – A vacant house fire in Aliquippa Thursday morning has been determined to be an arson.
According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out in the 2000-block of McLean Street around 3 a.m.
When firefighters arrived, they found a fire that was growing in intensity. It did not take long for it to go to three alarms.
The fire chief pulled firefighters from the building to focus on preventing the fire from spreading to neighboring homes.
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland Reports:
“Heavy fire, a lot of smoke upon initial entry and then it pretty much flared up after that. There was nobody in the home, but it sustained heavy damage. There weren’t any utilities to the building. We’ve called the state police fire marshal in to investigate. It looks suspicious at this time,” Aliquippa Fire Chief Dave Foringer said.
By 8 a.m., arson investigators determined someone unlocked the door, set the first floor on fire and locked up as they walked out.
As state police fire investigators continue to comb through the evidence, police want to talk to the man who last lived at the house. However, he has already been in trouble with the law recently.
Clifford Karolski was accused and pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year-old girl at the residence. He was sentenced to five years of probation.
Karolski is also presently out on $10,000 bond after being charged earlier this year after investigators said they found over 1,000 images of child pornography on a computer taken out of his home.
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti Reports:
Neighbors said they’ve seen Karolski in and around the home over the last few weeks.
Investigators are not calling Karolski a suspect in the apparent arson. However, sources close to this investigation said they want talk to anybody who may have a key to the home.