Old Forge Residents Fear Recent Fires Are Arson

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OLD FORGE -- There are fears that an arsonist may be on the loose in Old Forge.

Over the past two nights, there have been three suspicious fires all in the same neighborhood.

State police fire marshals are still trying to figure out what caused the fire at a vacant house on Connell Street early Tuesday morning. They are also investigating two others. A car fire around the same time and a small fire at a home late Tuesday night.

William Snyder says the damage to the back wall of his garage could have been a lot worse. The flames started while Snyder and his brother were at home. So, they were able to quickly put out the fire.

And, after what's happened this week in his neighborhood, Snyder says he has a good idea of how this started.

"The way I looked at it, it definitely was not caused by wires or anything. The back door was open, and I know the back door was shut. So, I mean, there's no doubt in my mind that somebody had to set it," Snyder said.

State police fire marshals will determine an exact cause for the garage fire.

Police are also investigating a fire from Tuesday morning only a block away from where Snyder lives. The house was vacant and destroyed by the flames.

Since there was no power going into the house, Neighbors call the fire suspicious and alarming, especially, after what happened to Snyder.

"We had one fire right next door to us a while ago, and that one up there, now our house. It's really scary. I had trouble sleeping last night," added Snyder.

Firefighters in Old Forge say there have been three fires in the last two nights. The two house fires and a car fire less than a mile away from the others. Firefighters say all three are under investigation.

"You normally don't see something like that in Old Forge. You see fires, but not like that, especially in this neighborhood," said neighbor Robert Sokolowski.

People who live in this area say they're keeping a closer eye on vacant buildings that could be easy targets for arson.

None of those three fires has been officially ruled arson. But, Newswatch 16 spoke with volunteer firefighters in Old Forge who say they're aware that that's what they could be dealing with.