Four Fires In Shenandoah ‘No coincidence’

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SHENANDOAH -- Authorities in Shenandoah are investigating several fires over the weekend and trying to find out if a firebug is on the loose.

In all, 13 building that were damaged early Sunday morning.

It took around 250 firefighters from two counties to battle the four fires.

Firefighters say they have never seen anything like this before, and while state police have not officially determined that this is a string of arsons, folks in Shenandoah say they believe there is no way this was a coincidence.

The calls just kept coming early Sunday morning for fire companies in Shenandoah: 12:15 a.m., 1:05 a.m., 1:50 a.m., and 5:22 a.m.

For the hundreds of firefighters from Schuylkill and Northumberland Counties, it was hard to believe what was happening.

"You get another one and another one and another one."

Shenandoah fire marshal Rick Examitas says while state police have not determined that this is a string of arsons, it seems impossible that four fires, in one night, all in vacant buildings, could be a coincidence.

"What do you think when that third and fourth call come in?"

"That triggered something is just not right here," Examitas said,

The first fire was at 200 East Lloyd Street, followed by fires on North Ferguson Street, East Center Street, and South Ferguson Street.

The house on Center Street was owned by Dave Dumlesky who, a day later, was busy moving his large collection of vinyl records.

Some women were home right around corner from the fire on East Lloyd Street and were worried it would spread.

"My daughter came and woke me up and said 'mommy, mommy, get out of the house. There is a fire.' How scary is that? It was scary," said Jennifer Wentworth.

People we spoke with say even if an arsonist set the fires, the number of dilapidated buildings in the community gave the firebug plenty of easy opportunities.

Inside the house at 131 North Ferguson, you can see a beer can and graffiti all over the walls, some residents say this house wasn't just vacant it was a magnet for trouble.

"People are in and out of there all the time, especially people who are using heavy drugs are in and out, sleeping there," said Frackville resident Nicole Ott.

"I don't want this to happen anymore, they need to get rid of these buildings."

 

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