CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) — A series of fires, two of them considered arsons and one of them considered suspicious, have a neighborhood on edge in Fayette County
The first suspected arson happened in the 1300-block of Murphy Avenue in Connellsville. It was halted by two police officers before it could get out of control.
“Porch of fire. There was a box on the porch that was on fire,” said Detective Lt. Ken Jaynes, of the Connellsville Police. “It appeared to be something like vinyl siding comes in. They extinguished it with a fire extinguisher that was in the car. Our guys responded and pretty much saved the house from burning.”
Just as the flames went out there, another fire was reported.
An individual came up and said there was a truck on fire three blocks away on West Cummings Avenue to which the fire department responded, found a Mack truck tractor trailer on fire at that point,” said Lt. Jaynes.
The big rig’s incineration is considered suspicious.
“They were reported within six minutes with each other,” Lt. Jaynes said.
Meanwhile, Traci Schroyer watched a house go up in smoke on South Carnegie Avenue.
“Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen in their backyard. There were people yelling, asking if there was anybody in there,” said Schroyer. “You could just see it coming out the windows; I mean the windows were all busted out.”
The house fire was ruled an arson.
With the smoke now cleared, Schroyer is now being hyper vigilant about potential problems.
“I’m outside a lot more; I’m looking around, especially in the evenings,” she said.
While frightened, Schroyer and others are also angry. Vacant home arsons are now victim-less crimes. Occupied or not, someone’s got to take the risk to go in and put them out.
“It’s dangerous, it’s scary for not only the people that’s there, people around, but it’s the firefighters as well,” Schroyer said.
As for who is responsible, police say the investigation is ongoing.