COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP – Three homes, three burglaries and three arsons – Pocono Mountain Regional Police said it all happened in A Pocono Country Place in Monroe County over the past couple of days.
Donelle Washington lives next to one of the fires and said he heard strange noises before the flames broke out.
“I heard glass pop before and like crunching of the bushes and I was like, it sounded like somebody stepped on the glass because it was like grinding glass, nothing breaking,” said Washington.
Washington has three little one and was actually up as the home next to him was set on fire for a second time a few hours after crews left the scene.
“As soon as you got out the front door you could feel the heat coming from the house and you saw the cinders flying over to our house, and we`re just sitting there praying, oh God please don`t touch our house,” said Washington.
Police said two male teens are in custody charged with arson and burglary, but they’re still looking for a third person that may be involved.
Newswatch 16 was there as this homeowner saw the devastation for the first time. He told us this was his retirement home, and that he and his wife had just about put all of the final touches on it.
Police said the home on Park Place and the other two on Boardwalk that were set on fire were targeted by the juveniles because they`re part-time residences, and people who live there said something needs to be done.
“If I hear the dogs barking around 10 o`clock or so I`m going to be out there with my gun because I don`t know, I don`t want no one setting my house on fire or anybody else’s house,” said neighbor Ray Scarnaty.
Others are more frustrated with the teens police said are behind this string of arsons.
“It easily could have caught on fire if we would have been sleeping instead of me being up, I could have lost three children or worse,” said Washington.
Everyone in the Coolbaugh Township neighborhood hopes these fires are the last.