Fires “Unsettling” for Shamokin Residents

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SHAMOKIN -- There were four fires on the same street in the last few months. An investigation is underway in Shamokin. The latest fire was Thursday night.

Firefighters scrambled to put out smoke and flames at the condemned building on North Shamokin Street. Then, just hours later and one block away, two vacant buildings caught fire. It is too close for comfort for Tammy Brosius.

"It was only like two doors away in the back. If those other two buildings would have went, it would have been in my backyard," said Brosius.

Investigators in Shamokin would not say if the fires were arson, but they did say both are suspicious. None of the buildings had any power hooked up.

"There's reason to be concerned. We need help. People need to, if they see something suspicious call us," said Chief Edward Griffiths, of Shamokin Police.

Since all of the recent fires have been inside vacant buildings, Chief Griffiths recommends all property owners secure their vacant buildings so people can't get inside.

"They need to board their properties up. Check them often. If you're out of the area have somebody local check them," said Griffiths.

Julie Macnair owns "Odds and Ends Store", on North Shamokin Street, and lives above her store. The vacant buildings make her nervous.

"Right next door on either side of me there's two empty ones, and across the street, most of them are vacant," said Macnair.

City officials said there is not enough money to tear down all of the condemned buildings. For now, Shamokin police officers said they will increase patrols and focus on areas with vacant properties.

"It would be devastating for sure because this is my business and where I live so this is scary," said Macnair.

If you have information on either of the suspicious fires, call the Shamokin Police Department at (570) 648-5708. You can remain anonymous.