The fire that ripped through a former fraternity house early Thursday in Clinton County is arson, according to fire officials.
Law offices next door were also damaged when flames spread.
Ted Nuttall lives on Main Street in Lock Haven. He panicked after hearing sirens right before midnight.
“I came running out to make sure I could figure out where the fire was to make sure my house wasn’t in trouble,” Nuttall said.
His house is fine, but this former fraternity house is not. More than 100 firefighters put out the flames on Main Street in Lock Haven. Officials said the fire was set by an arsonist. The first arson Lock Haven has seen in several years.
“But we managed to stop the fire from getting too much damage to the neighboring property. The majority of the fire damage was in the original fire building,” said Robert Neff, Lock Haven Fire Chief.
According to Neff, this is a historic building that has been in the city for more than 100 years. The chief said its owners were in the process of having it torn down.
“As a matter of fact, it was on the agenda for council meeting Monday night for them to get permission to demolish the building,” said Chief Neff.
A local historian said the building used to be a fraternity house, but has been vacant for at least ten years. He said the property is one of the oldest on Main Street, and is a historic building. He said it was built by a friend of Abraham Lincoln. Nicki Bauman and several others took pictures of the damage.
“This has been standing, and we’ve known it as kids going to school, we’ve always seen it here. It’s sad for it to go up like this,” said Bauman.
If you have any information on the arson, you are asked to call Lock Haven police.