Officials said fire damage to a business in Schuylkill County is so bad they’re considering tearing it down.
Police said a suspect admits to setting the blaze.
Mcadoo firefighters had to deal with massive flames. Flames wrecked Gene’s Gray Goose Food and Drink on the borough’s main drag.
Assistant Fire Chief Robert Leshko said the flames threatened to trap emergency responders who were inside.
“We had some issues where the fire became out of control again and had multiple holes in the floors and we evacuated everyone out again,” explained Leshko.
As firefighters were still on the scene, police collared, Scott Branz of Mcadoo. Investigators said he was carrying a bag filled with bottles of alcohol from the bar. Police said he made several trips.
Police also said another thing that raised their suspicions about the suspect was the fact that he left the fire scene and came back with another set of clothing.
Branz is charged with breaking into the bar and admits setting the fire. Officer Bob Minnick explains why for now Branz is not charged with arson.
“Pending the outcome of the State Police Fire Marshal investigation there could be more charges to come,” Minnick said.
Gene Nance inspected his business. He wonders if insurance will allow him to rebuild the bar.
“Why didn’t he just take the whiskey, why did he have to burn the bar, that’s my thoughts. If the guy is going to steal why not just take the whiskey,” Nance said.
Bob Perhonitch lives next door. He said his home was evacuated because of the fire.
“Tongues of fire coming out of just about every room upstairs and downstairs, it was not a good experience, I was scared,” said Perhonitch.
Police believe three others were involved with the break-in. Investigators said they know who those people are and expect them to face charges too.