Arson Investigation Underway in West Scranton

Some homeowners in West Scranton woke up this morning with charred garbage, all happening in one neighborhood, but in the same city where there have been several other suspicious fires.

Police say these fires follow a similar pattern from a number of arsons in other parts of the city. All of the fires were set in a matter of hours overnight. No one was hurt but people living in west Scranton say they fear if it happens again someone might get hurt.

Mark Batcha works at Brownie’s Pizzeria in West Scranton and lives above the restaurant. He heard about recent arsons over in the city’s Hill Section but he never thought it would hit on his side of the city.

Just down the street from his shop are the charred remains of a couch.
That was the last thing firefighters say an arsonist torched before the spree was over.

“Well, I’ll just be more alert, I probably won’t sleep as much! But, I mean, I’ll just keep my eye on the business like I always do,” Batcha said.

Firefighters say the arsonist also lit four garbage cans on fire all within a few blocks of each other and all within a few hours.

Even though this case resembles a series of arsons in the city’s Hill Section, fire inspectors are not treating the cases like their related. But, they say this may be the work of a copy cat.

While police and fire inspectors investigate, many people in West Scranton are holding their breath. Hoping that these recent arsons don’t resemble the others and continue. They hope police can track down the arsonist before it happens again.

Scranton Police fire investigators and inspectors with the Fire Department say they don’t think they’re looking for the same arsonist in both West Scranton and the Hill Section. They also say they are reviewing surveillance video that may have caught the west side arsonist in the act early this morning.