A fire that hit two flood-damaged houses in Shickshinny Sunday night is now a case of arson.
The house where the fire started was knocked off its foundation by the September flood and became one of those iconic symbols of the floods in Shickshinny. Officials said the home had been vacant since a previous flood in 2006.
Investigators said the fire began in the rear of the house and quickly spread.
“We were home in bed, got the phone call and came on down and watched it burning, praying for the best of course until we could get in there and see,” said Pauline May, the owner of the home next door.
May’s home also sustained considerable damage.
“I wish they would have had other things to do and I know how they devastated people. So stupid whether it was intentional just to set something up that nobody lived in,” said May.
The owners of the other home affected by the fire said they were only about a month away from moving back in after the September floods destroyed this part of Shickshinny.
Now they say after the fire from the home next door affected their home, they don`t know when they`ll be able to move back in.
“All the wiring was redone from the flooding everything was ready to go we had new meters, it was just some drywall work and paint. Nothing major,” said May.
The Shickshinny fire chief worries other empty flood damaged houses could be targets.
“Well there’s a lot of empty houses especially at the north end of the town. Down our Canal Street and empty and people were waiting to get a buy out to see what they can do. There are broken windows and open houses,” said Kevin Morris, Chief of Shickshinny’s Fire Department
Fire officials tell us several people were seen running from the fire last night. Anyone with information about the arson is asked to contact Shickshinny police.