Search for a Firebug

A string of arsons in one part of the Poconos is believed to be the work of a group of young people.

A state police fire marshal said last weekend the vandals lit a delivery truck on fire then went to a church and set off fireworks.

State police are now concerned about the safety of the public and hope someone steps forward with information leading to an arrest.

The burned-out shell of a box truck now sits along Route 191 near Newfoundland.  The truck used to be one of Donn Gross’ delivery trucks which he used daily to pick up and deliver furniture for his business, Blueberry Hill Furniture Village.

“Well, it’s a loss. It’s pretty much a loss,” said Donn Gross.

A state police fire marshal ruled the blaze arson and believes it sparked sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The fire marshal also believes young people, in their late teens or early 20s, are responsible and knew exactly what they were doing.

“Younger people have to take some responsibility. They do have an impact on the society they live in and they’re growing up.  Things they do now have a great influence on them in the future,” said Gross.

The group of vandals didn’t stop there.

The fire marshal said they also targeted the historic Newfoundland Moravian Church, just two miles away.

“Luckily it didn’t burn us. This church is 100 years old, which is wonderful for the history but makes it a matchstick,” said Pastor Gregg Schafer.

The pastor said the vandals set off fireworks outside the church, leaving a mark and damaging part of the church’s exterior.  

Then the vandals continued on their way and went next door, to the backyard of the pastor’s home, targeting his children’s trampoline.

“It caused a large hole. This is my boys’ favorite toy. They both come out here and play on it every day.  They just couldn’t wait to set it up and get back out here again, and now they’ll have to wait until we can get the money to purchase a new trampoline,” said Pastor Schafer.

The state police fire marshal also believes the case of arson and attempted arsons are related to other attempted arson cases in a nearby community in Pike County.

Anyone with information about who is responsible for the fires is asked to call the state police at 570-253-7126.

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