Apartment Building Fire Ruled Arson

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HAZLETON -- Hazleton Fire Department said most of the apartment building on East Chapel street was consumed by flames. Firefighters did what they could to save the place, but officials said that was impossible. Now investigators believe it was deliberately set.

It broke out around 6:30 a.m. Thursday in the 100 block of East Chapel Street, according to firefighters.

According to city officials, the building has been empty since September of last year.

Hazleton fire investigators were joined by a State Police fire marshal, looking for how the fire started. Neighbor Peter Deep said he believes it was arson.

"Nobody lived there, so they did what they did."

Arce Nunez also lives in Hazleton and is not surprised by the fire.

"If it happened here, it could happen anywhere else because there are a lot of abandoned houses this is not the only one." Nunez said.

A neighbor who would only give us her first name agrees.

"It’s horrible! This town is getting worse with all the abandoned buildings it's getting ridiculous ." Kristina said.

Another neighbor Mike Welsh said he also suspected it was arson."I have two grandkids and I have another one on the way, I am concerned about them even."

Now investigators have the job of determining who set the fire on East Chapel street in Hazleton.