SCRANTON — Police in Scranton think a series of arsons this weekend in the city’s Hill Section were set by the same person who torched several trash cans back in September.
So, some in the Hill Section community are on edge until investigators find the arsonist.
Police say the pattern is just like the fires in September, all were set within 24 hours. But, this time, cars were torched. Which, police say, means the arsonist’s crimes are escalating.
Only ashes remain in Andrew Golden’s parking spot outside his Hill Section home. But, around 2:30 in the morning on Sunday it was a much different sight.
“I went to the window to look and my car was on fire with flames shooting about 10 feet in the air,” Golden said.
Golden’s Cadillac was destroyed and Scranton Police fire inspectors ruled it arson. The first of four that happened with in 24 hours, all in the middle of the night.
Police believe next, the arsonist torched a garbage can just down the block. It’s in front of an apartment house full of University of Scranton students who received an email alert reminding them to keep their eyes peeled. This has happened before, and could happen again.
“I’m thinking of getting a new car, do I get a new car and put it out there and have it happen again? I don’t know?” Golden added.
The evidence of arson was more obvious along Mahon Court closer to the University’s campus. Police say a student’s pick-up truck was torched and destroyed.
So, if these fires are done by the same arsonist who set small fires near the university in September, police say, their crimes are becoming much more serious. And that has many students on edge.
“We don’t really have a lot of fire alarms in our house so i was tempted to go out and buy a bunch. I don’t know if they keep moving up from garbage cans to cars, now our garage, they might come up,” said University of Scranton student Stacy Skates.
Police have reached out to students for help. So far, they don’t have any leads. But, investigators say, unless they find evidence that proves otherwise they’re connecting all the recent fires here.
“I hope it’s not a student, I hope it’s nobody I know, I hope it’s not targeted at anybody,” added Skates.
The city’s fire marshal says they interviewed some people after the arsons in September. But, for now, no suspects.
They’re asking anyone with information to call the Scranton Police Detective’s Bureau at 348-4139.